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Child helmet campaign enjoys success

Update: September, 26/2013 - 09:37
HCM City has seen an increasing number of children using helmets in the last two years, following a national campaign on the importance of helmet use for children aged six and above.— File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS)— HCM City has seen an increasing number of children using helmets in the last two years, following a national campaign on the importance of helmet use for children aged six and above.

Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy chief of HCM City's Traffic Safety Committee, said that Go Vap District had the highest jump in the city, from 22.6 per cent in 2011 to 80 per cent.

This year, the city began imposing fines, according to Tuong.

In the first six months of the year, city police have imposed fines on 5,000 violators.

Many city campaigns including the "Children Also Need A Helmet" national launch, have been effective, he said.

Since 2011, the committee has co-operated with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation and the municipal Department of Health to carry out the campaign.

The campaign also has helped the capital city of Ha Noi and central Da Nang, where helmet use increased to 52.7 per cent and 34.7 per cent, respectively, said Nguyen Dieu Nuong, AIP's programme director.

However, the percentage of children wearing helmets is still lower than that of adults, Nuong said.

Moreover, nearly 60 per cent of children in Viet Nam face a high risk of injury from traffic accidents because of the lack of a helmet, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A report from the National Safety Committee showed that 50,000 people had experienced brain injuries caused by traffic accidents last year. Of them, 13.4 per cent were children. Of that figure, half were due to the lack of a helmet.

Because of the report's findings, the national helmet campaign will continue in three major cities, Tuong said.

It will be expanded to 18 districts in these cities, Nuong said.

In the campaign's third period, a TV commercial, "When I Grow Up", and a documentary, "In Retrospect", will continue to be broadcast on national and local media outlets, she added.

More new billboards near primary schools and public places will replace old ones to promote helmet use, she said.

Moreover, information sessions and audio broadcasts will continue be held in schools, as well as a photography contest for family ambassadors on helmet use, Nuong said.

According to Tuong, the campaign has contributed to changing parents' ideas and creating a habit of helmet use for children when on motorbikes.

Parent Nguyen Thi Thu Ha of Tan Phu District said that she always asks her children to wear a helmet.

Tran Hoang Ngoc Tran, a third grader at the school, said she had been wearing a helmet since she was five years old. — VNS

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