Overloaded trucks destroying VN roads

Published: 30/06/2011 05:00



A system of modern weighing stations has been proposed to be set up throughout the country to help deter truck drivers from dangerously overloading vehicles, said the Deputy Minister of Transport and Director of the Directorate for Roads, Nguyen Ngoc Dong.

Measures to control the weight of vehicles and ensure they were not overloaded were in urgent need to prevent the rapid deterioration of the country’s road system and ensure road traffic safety, Dong said.

A report from the directorate recently found that overloaded vehicles were the major reason for the deterioration of the road system.

Similar to the findings in Viet Nam, a study by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials revealed that the service life of roads can be reduced by 70 per cent due to frequent use by heavy and overloaded vehicles.

The study found that a doubling of a vehicle’s axle load resulted in a road’s service life being reduced by as much as 20 times.

In 2006, the World Bank reported that about 30 per cent of all vehicles travelling along Viet Nam’s National Highway 5 were overloaded.

In addition, annual road maintenance expenses were only able to meet from 50 per cent to 60 per cent of demand.

Numerous routes have been severely damaged by the overloaded traffic. The worst for wear include stretches of road along National Highways No 1, No 7 and No 55, reported the Directorate for Roads of Viet Nam.

The operation of the system of weighing stations nation-wide needs to be up and running again to prevent overloading and the deterioration of roads as well as ensure traffic safety, said Deputy Minister Dong.

In 2009 and 2010, two modern weighing stations were tested along National Highway No 18 in northern Quang Ninh Province and National Highway No 1 in southern Dong Nai Province. The stations are still operating under a pilot programme, checking the weights of trucks and commercial vehicles that pass by.

The Dau Giay Weighing Station in Dong Nai Province’s Trang Bom District, put into operation in March 2009, has helped reduce the number of overloaded vehicles from 23.35 per cent in 2009 to about 19 per cent in 2010.

According to the director of Quang Ninh weighing station, Le Van Doanh, drivers’ awareness on the importance of following regulations on loads has improved.

Before June 1, 2010, when the station was yet to begin operations, trucks running across the route had often been found to be transporting goods weighing 20 per cent to 130 per cent and even 200 per cent over legal limits, said Doanh.

Though the weighing stations had revealed limitations, the implementation of the two pilot weighing checkpoints was the first step in moving towards the setting up of a modern national network of weighing stations, according to the Directorate for Roads’ report.

The ministry has submitted plans to the Prime Minister that propose building more than 20 weighing stations along national highways in the country.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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