Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Carrying more passengers and cargo than permitted and lack of fire safety equipment including extinguishers were the most common violations committed by inter-provincial public transport buses, the HCM City Department of Transport reported following inspections.
According to inspectors, there is an increasing number of buses with beds operating out of the Miền Đông (Eastern), Miền Tây (Western), An Sương and Ngã Tư Ga bus stations, but many have more beds than permitted and lack safety equipment.
In many cases, passengers were anxious for their safety because the buses were stuffed with cargo, including fuels, which would not only obstruct their escape route in case of traffic accidents but were also themselves dangerous.
Lê Văn Tuấn, head of the Inspection Division’s Team 7, said checks at the Ngã Tư Ga Coach Station found buses with some of their beds removed to make space for cargo.
The owners of the coaches said they had done it to earn money since there are not enough passengers.
However, during holidays, especially Tết (Lunar New Year), when a large number of people take buses to return home, extra seats are added.
During inspections from August 2017 to May 2018, nearly 2,000 buses were checked and 74 were found violating the law.
Inspectors said 36 lacked fire extinguishers or had obsolete ones, 20 had removed seats to create cargo space or had more seats than permitted and six lacked escape hammers.
Lê Hồng Việt, the department’s deputy inspector, said besides slapping fines, the inspectors also ordered the owners of buses with extra seats and beds to get their vehicles certified afresh for fitness by the transport department before operating again.
When passengers find safety compromised on buses, they should call the hotline set up by the locality’s transportation safety board so that authorities could act to prevent traffic problems and penalise the violators, Việt said. — VNS