People board a coach at the Eastern Terminal, HCM City. There are now more buses with beds operating out of the terminal, but many have more than permitted and lack safety equipment (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - 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 Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport reported following inspections.

According to inspectors, there is an increasing number of buses with beds operating out of the Mien Dong (Eastern), Mien Tay (Western), An Suong and Nga Tu 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.

Le Van Tuan, head of the Inspection Division’s Team 7, said checks at the Nga Tu 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 Tet (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.

Le Hong Viet, 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, Viet said.-VNS/VNA