AIP Foundation works in schools to distribute helmets and increase education, develops campaigns to educate the general public, but also advocates for laws that keep road users safe. We helped develop helmet standards for children in Vietnam, one of three countries worldwide to have such legislation for children. Now, more and more children are wearing helmets in Vietnam due to a new legislative breakthrough.
In April, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung signed an amendment to Resolution 32, the mandatory helmet law passed in December 2007. All drivers and passengers on motorbikes from the age of six must wear a helmet properly under penalty of a fine from 20 May 2010. Adults carrying children without a helmet or without it properly buckled will be fined 100,000 – 200,000 VND – the equivalent of five to ten US dollars. Those driving in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi will suffer higher penalties than in the rest of the country.
The amendment includes several other road safety measures: increased fines for carrying more than one passenger over the age of fourteen; triple to quadruple the original fine for running red lights; double the original fine for driving the wrong way down a one-way street; and up to a 1.4 million VND, or approximately 75 US dollars, fine for drink driving.
Officials will monitor the increased penalty system in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for 36 months in a pilot project, after which time officials may chose to extend the same fines to the rest of the country. The United Nations commended Vietnam for its continuing efforts to keep its citizens safe on the roads.
To increase the effectiveness of this legislation, AIP Foundation launched a new intervention that targeted parents’ education and awareness on child helmet use. On 18 and 19 May, mobile education units with trained staff visited twenty primary schools during lunch and after-school pick up times in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to distribute leaflets, speak with parents, and answer any questions about Decree 34 and child helmet use. Additionally, AIP Foundation plans to identify areas throughout the country with low child helmet use and will use this focused intervention to educate parents.
AIP Foundation staff also circulated a letter to the parents of all Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City primary schools involved in AIP Foundation programs requesting that parents pledge to put a helmet on their children every day before they get on a motorbike.
The supportive legislative environment in Vietnam is a boon to our "Give a Vietnamese child a helmet, save life". It gives AIP Foundation an opportunity to reach out to parents and teachers in a new way, and educate them on the laws the affect their lives. We will continue to focus on child helmet use, stay tuned for more information about our upcoming public awareness campaign.
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Ho Chi Minh City,
Ho Chi Minh City,