Students urged to wear safety helmets

Update: April, 08/2016 - 09:00
Third-grader Nguyễn Phúc Thu Hương speaks about her mother’s traffic accident at an English-Speaking Contest held yesterday in HCM City. VNS/Photo.Gia Lộc
Viet Nam News -

HCM CITY — Two years ago, Phạm Quỳnh Trâm was on her way to visit her grandmother when the motorbike driven by her mother was hit by a drunk driver.


Trâm and her mother fell on the street but were uninjured because they were wearing standard helmets.


Trâm, 10, described the accident during her speech at an English-Speaking Contest held on Wednesday (April 6) at Trương Định Primary School in HCM City’s District 12.


Trâm’s speech, which won first prize for fifth graders, sent her schoolmates a message: “We should obey traffic safety regulations such as wearing helmets and not drive when drunk.”


After the contest, about 2,000 students and teachers watched a fashion show and play in which students performed.


Trần Thị Hồng Ân, principal of Trương Định School, said she was pleased to see more of the school’s students wearing high quality helmets to school every day.


The aim of the English-speaking contest helps the youngest members of the community to learn invaluable skills in road safety and proper helmet use.


The contest was part of Traffic Safety Day, which is being carried out at 11 schools throughout the country in March and April by the National Traffic Safety Committee in co-operation with Ministry of Education and Training, and Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, funded by Abbott Laboratories, the global healthcare company.


It is part of an education component of the Helmets for Families programme, which for the last three years has raised awareness about road safety literacy and safe behaviour among Vietnamese families.


The programme is carried out at two schools in Hà Nội, four in HCM City and five in the Mekong Delta province of Trà Vinh.


More than 10,000 parents have attended and been provided with subsidised, high-quality helmets in exchange for sub-standard ones which they had been using.


From early 2014 to December 2015, the programme has helped raise the average helmet-wearing rate from 6.8 per cent to 66.3 per cent at schools in Hà Nội, from 27 per cent in to 82 per cent in HCM City, and from 30.4 per cent to 80 per cent in Trà Vinh.


According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, people’s awareness about helmet wearing has also improved as a result of programmes as well as strict fines imposed on violators.


The national helmet law requires adults and children six years old and above to wear standard helmets. 


The number of children under 14 years old diagnosed with a brain injury due to traffic accidents and lack of a helmet accounts for 13.4 per cent of the total number each year over the last five years.