HCM CITY (VNS) — A campaign to issue quality crash helmets to children and their parents will start at four primary schools in HCM City to raise awareness of the need to wear helmets that actually protect in case of a crash.
Launched on Friday, it will be carried out by the National Traffic Safety Committee in co-operation with Ministry of Education and Training and Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation with funding from US healthcare company Abbott.
The four schools are Cau Xang and Tan Quy Tay in Binh Chanh District and Truong Dinh and Nguyen Thai Binh in District 12, where only 20-30 per cent of students wear helmets when they are dropped off or picked up on motorbikes by adults.
From now until June, students at the four schools will get 4,289 free helmets and teachers, 238. Students' parents will be offered quality helmets at a subsidised price in exchange for their old ones.
Students as well as their parents and teachers will be trained in the right way to wear a helmet and taught about the value of wearing quality helmets through workshops and activities outside classrooms.
Hoardings exhorting the use of quality helmets will be put up in front of the four schools.
In the next two years the campaign will be expanded to the Mekong Delta and Ha Noi.
Mirjam Sidik, AIP Foundation's chief executive officer, said even though adult helmet use rates are high in the country, the World Health Organization found that 82 per cent of helmets worn on Viet Nam's roads are sub-standard.
"We are doing more to encourage motorcyclists, including children, to wear standard helmets that can protect their heads effectively in an event of a crash," she said, adding that the project represents this shift.
In 2010, Cho Ray Hospital released statistics on the deaths of children and teenagers due to road accidents.
There were 4,000 fatalities of which nearly 2,000 people aged 15 to 19 and 1,436 aged less than 14 died of brain injuries. — VNS