|A signboard cautioning drivers to reduce speed to below 30km/h near Lê Lai Primary School, Pleiku City, the central highlands province of Gia Lai. — Photo courtesy of AIP Foundation|
PLEIKU — The #Love30 campaign – at the heart of the United Nations Road Safety action – advocates making a 30 km/h (20mph) speed limit the norm for cities worldwide in streets where people live, work and play.
Not only does a speed limit in urban areas prioritise the well-being of children and youth, but it also creates safe healthy green cities.
Less than a year ago, students across Pleiku City gathered to celebrate the sixth United Nations Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW).
The UNGRSW is an opportunity for the world to call on policymakers at local and national levels around the globe to act for low-speed streets to enhance road safety.
To celebrate this special theme in 2021, students and teachers at Võ Thị Sáu school participated in a drawing contest to illustrate ‘my safe road to school.’
Today, those illustrations have become a reality as the Gia Lai Provincial People's Committee regulation reducing speed in school zones to 30-40 km/h in Pleiku City came into force.
As part of the AIP Foundation’s Slow Zones, Safe Zones program, this critical legal intervention is marked by reducing speed limits from 60-50 km/h to 40-30 km/h during peak pick-up and drop-off times.
This program helping students become safer during their school commutes is supported by Swiss-based Fondation Botnar, GRSP, FIA, and iRAP and aligns with the Global Plan of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030.
Similarly, Việt Nam’s National Road Safety Strategy supports meeting the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development goals as part of the Global Plan, ensuring maximum traffic safety for school zones.
Pleiku City is the first city in Việt Nam to apply speed limits of 30-40 km/h for school zones.
This highlights the commitment of the Government and the international community in impacting lasting change creating safe streets for life.
The Pleiku Police Department has been carrying out an action plan to enforce these new speed limits across school zones.
The next enforcement of the new regulation is taking place from February 15 to March 31, 2022, during rush hours in the morning and afternoon.
This enforcement is being combined with public service announcements to improve road user speed reduction when passing school zones.
To inform and raise awareness for the local community about new speed limits and modifications for primary schools, a public awareness campaign was carried out in Pleiku.
More than 26,000 flyers were distributed to all primary schools in Pleiku. Sixty vertical billboards were installed on both sides of the road, 200m away from the school gate at 30 school sites. In addition, 31 horizontal billboards were installed in front of school gates.
Students now have the safe road to the school they wanted just a few months ago. The school zone modifications have been completed at 31 program schools so far.
The modifications include new pedestrian crossings, new pavements, steel railings to separate the footpath and the parking area for parents and road signs marking the speed limits and school zones.
Kim Beng Lua, GRSP Senior Officer, said: “The WHO has published the [Global Plan] for the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety. The plan highlights the importance of including safe and integrated sustainable multimodal transport and youth engagement as well as safe road infrastructure."
"The GRSP has been working with AIP Foundation to make lower speed limits a reality in Pleiku. The school zone modifications at the 31 local schools and the newly established speed reduction are examples of how we can work together to create change, safeguarding students around the city. [This aligns] with other United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving equity, and sustainable development.”
For all students across Pleiku, the speed limits will safeguard them on their commutes to school and ensure that all students have safe and equal access to education.
The reduced speed limits improve road safety immensely in Pleiku while increasingly encouraging families to walk and ride their bicycles to school, paving the way for healthier and greener cities.
“The implementation of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program in Pleiku is our local program with a global message where we unite to demand safe streets for life. These results today show in practice how 30 km/h speed limits worldwide will bring us closer to our vision of a world where all neighbourhood streets are liveable, safe and sustainable,” said Mirjam Sidik, AIP Foundation CEO.
As a scale-up of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program in Pleiku City, AIP Foundation signed a national partnership framework with the Ministry of Transport of Việt Nam.
The goal is to develop a Safe School Zones Việt Nam guide that will be implemented nationwide, demonstrating a commitment to protecting children on the roads and making Pleiku City a model city for safe school zones across all of Việt Nam. — VNS