Unsafe helmets flood cities' streets
Wearing helmets just to avoid penalty
Many people wear helmets to avoid penalties from the police, instead of for safety reasons. Unsafe helmets are often sold for just VND20,000-40,000 (USD0.95-1.9). They can easily be found all over the cities. Even though people might be aware of the dangers, the demand still remains.
Duc Anh, a student at Hanoi University, said that a helmet is not really necessary because people in the city drive slowly. At the same time, he reasoned, a genuine helmet would cost from VND200,000-300,000 (USD9.5-14.3), expensive for university students.
Khanh Huyen, a female student at Phuong Dong Private University, argued that proper helmets ruin her hairstyle.
Older people, on the other hand, seem to be more concerned with safety.
Bich, who works as a teacher, thinks that even though genuine helmets are more expensive, they can protect you from injury in case of an accident.
According to Road and Rail Traffic Police Administration, 393 accidents occurred during Tet, resulting in 317 deaths and 380 injuries.
Nguyen Phuong Nam, Deputy Director of Vietnam Competition Administration Department, under Ministry of Industry and Trade, said that 80% cases of brain injuries were result of substandard helmets.
Lack of enforcement
The spokesman of the Market Management Department said its control over the helmet market depends on inspection of imports and counterfeit safety stamps. Still, many problems face authorities such as sellers of illegal helmets and phony safety seals.
Currently, ministries of Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, Police, and Transport are collecting ideas for the draft join circular on manufacturing, importing, and trading helmets. The joint circular mentioned that people use fake helmet will be fined VND100,000-200,000(USD4.75-9.5), an equal to the fine for not using helmet.
Also, the Deputy Head of Consumer Protection Nguyen Van Thanh commented that while authorities are taking measures to clean up the market, it is also up to consumers to ensure their safety by buying proper helmets. If the demand remains, he said, so will the market.
People wear fake helmets will be fined
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Fake helmets displayed with others merchandises