Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on March 8 issued instruction No 04 directing the strengthened supervision of production, trade and use of motorbike helmets.

The instruction noted the law that made helmets compulsory for all motorbike passengers, which took effect in 2007, has resulted in significantly limiting the number of causalities caused by traffic accidents.

However, the number of people who are not wearing helmets or wearing them in inappropriate ways has showed signs of rising.

A large number of fake, poorly-designed and substandard helmets are present in the market, and they are blamed for the increasing number of deaths and head injuries on the road.

The instruction required authorities to bolster work on raising awareness among manufacturers and traders on the importance of quality helmets that are in line with all regulations.

The PM also called for strict punishment of violations related to the production and trade of fake helmets, while quality helmets must be clearly labeled.

The Ministry of Public Security was urged to step up traffic inspection and hand out fines for violations.

Localities were asked to promptly stamp down on the widespread sale of helmets on the streets or pavements.

The HCM City Market Watch on March 7 began a five-week investigation on the quality of helmets being sold throughout the city.

Twenty-four investigation teams visited shops, vendors, companies and factories that trade all kinds of helmets.

On the first day, more than 5,000 fake, low quality and illegally imported helmets were confiscated. At least 1,100 helmets had been imported from China .

The investigation will be conducted until April 15.-VNA