Gov’t to ban substandard helmets by year end

The Ministries of Transport, Public Security, Science and Technology, and Industry and Trade have signed a joint draft agreement to withdraw from the market all motorbike helmets that do not meet safety standards in future.

At a regular briefing in February organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the National Traffic Safety Committee said it would raise awareness among the public on use of safe helmets.

Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, told the media that he had asked the Department of Trade and Industry in cities and provinces to coordinate with Steering Market Management Committees to apply measures so that by the end of 2013, production and circulation of poor quality helmets would stop.

The new regulation aims to ensure helmets have all the necessary features such as adequately strong chin straps and a quality stamp.

Motorbike drivers wearing fake helmets or helmets that do not meet safety standards will be fined, with fines ranging from VND100,000-200,000 (US$4.7-9.5).

Authorities will also clampdown on manufacturing, sale and use of fake helmets.

“With the new decree, fake helmet manufacturers and sellers will be strictly punished, and police will also strengthen supervision of drivers using fake helmets,” Hoang stressed.

As many as 70 percent helmets in Hanoi’s markets are of substandard quality, according to the Ministry of Industry and Market Watch.

Substandard helmets are common as they are very cheap, with prices from VND30,000-60,000 ($1.4-2.8), while a helmet that meets safety standards can cost from VND150,000-300,000 ($7-14).

In a crackdown on fake helmets held recently, the Hanoi Market Watch checked 2,350 helmets in 13 shops. More than 1,600 were found of substandard quality with unclear origin and did not have a quality stamp marking.

source SGGP, translated by Dan

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