Motorbike drivers who wear uncertified helmets will be fined up to VND200,000 (USD10), according to a draft regulation.
Fake helmets are sold on the road
According to the General Department for Standards and Quality Measurement, fake helmets are sold publicly in many provinces and cities. These helmets are very cheap, only several US dollars per unit. They are worthless in protecting drivers but help drivers cope with traffic police.
Relevant agencies are collecting opinions from related sides for the draft regulation on production, import and trade of helmets, which fix standards for helmets.
The controversial point in the draft document is that drivers who wear uncertified helmets will be fined from VND100,000 ($5) to VND200,000 ($10). Helmet producers have to take responsibility for the quality of their products.
Many readers protest this kind of fine. They say that customers are victims so producers of unqualified helmets must be fined, not those who wear fake helmets. They also say that the draft document shows the impotence of management agencies.
The market control agency and traffic police also disagree with the proposed fine.
Lam Thieu Quan, a member of the HCM City People’s Council says that it is very difficult to fine drivers for wearing fake helmets. Drivers cannot bring helmet certificates with them all the time. Moreover, even the certificate can be counterfeited.
Quan adds that customers cannot differentiate between fake and authentic products. He says that the most important measure is fighting fake products.
Ly Ngoc Thang, chief of a market control unit in HCM City, says that dealing with fake goods is the mission of the market control force. However, this force cannot fine drivers who wear fake helmet. This is the job of traffic police, Thang adds.
However, some traffic police officers say that this is unfeasible mission because traffic policemen are not experts at detecting fake helmets. “This is the job of the market control force. But market control officers do not have the right to stop drivers to check their helmets,” says a traffic policeman in HCM City.
According to the HCM City Market Control Agency, over 80 percent of helmets in the city fail to meet standards. Fake helmets are produced at private enterprises, which move after several days.