The Tet holiday celebrating the Lunar New Year in Vietnam is a festive time of family gatherings and relaxation. At the same time, with many people traveling long distances back to their hometowns, it is one of the most dangerous times on the roads in Vietnam. While the number of deaths and injuries from traffic accidents over Tet declined this year, 137 people still died in just four days over the holiday. Each year, the holiday serves as a reminder of the important work that needs to be done to promote safer behavior on the roads.
Over the past few months, AIP Foundation has continued to put helmets on children’s heads and encourage child helmet use throughout Vietnam.
A Family Day was held in Ho Chi Minh City on December 18 to engage parents and children to promote helmet use. At the event, Miss Vietnam 2008, Tran Thi Thuy Dung, interacted with children as they participated in road safety games, including helmet painting and bicycle racing. Throughout the day, free helmets were awarded to children.
On January 5, Ho Chi Minh City’s Pham Van Chieu Primary School received a donation of 1,870 helmets from United Parcel Service through a Helmets for Kids program. At the launch ceremony, parents, students, and teachers were reminded why helmet wearing is so important. Helmet wearing at Pham Van Chieu Primary school was typically very low, and this event made helmets appear fun and cool, helping establish helmets as part of the daily school uniform.
At Nguyen Tri Phuong Primary School in Dong Nai Province near Ho Chi Minh City, 80% of the students walk to school every day along busy streets. Therefore, FedEx and Safe Kids Vietnam (implemented by AIP Foundation) carried out pedestrian safety interventions at the school. Traffic lights, rumble strips, zebra crossings, and traffic signs were installed and 700 reflective jackets were distributed to the students. Teachers were trained in road safety education and given tools for hands-on teaching. A traffic safety corner with four working traffic lights and an intersection was set up in the playground to help students put their classroom learning into practice.
In the coming months, Phase I of AIP Foundation’s public awareness campaign, “Children also need a helmet,” will be completed. In this first phase that began in late 2010, numerous partnerships have been built among nongovernmental, governmental, multilateral, and private sector traffic safety stakeholders. Furthermore, almost 85,000 informational flyers were distributed to parents to contradict widely held misconceptions about child helmet use. With a television commercial and billboards currently in production, the campaign is poised to greatly expand its reach and combat the dangerously low child helmet rate in Vietnam.
Thank you again for donating to AIP Foundation and supporting important programs like these. We rely on your support and every dollar helps us continue our work reducing traffic injuries and fatalities in Vietnam.
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