Photo from HCMC Family Day
To complement our ongoing public awareness campaign efforts, our Helmets for Kids projects, and enforcement campaign in target cities, AIP Foundation’s non-profit helmet factory, Protec, launched a helmet exchange program last month. This helmet exchange program responds to increasing government attention to the issue of helmet quality. According to recent estimates by the World Health Organization, of the helmets worn on Vietnamese roads, around 82% of them are of substandard quality. Starting in March and ending on 30 June 2013, people who have fake helmets can trade them for quality helmets at Protec’s showroom locations in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, or Danang; these quality helmets are sold for a reduced price equivalent to a 20% discount. Under this program, up to 300 helmets are exchanged per day in each showroom, making a tangible impact on the quality of helmets worn in Vietnam.
The enforcement campaign conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the National Traffic Safety Committee which resulted in child helmet rates increasing from 22% to 50% has successfully expanded to Danang and Hanoi. The focus of the enforcement campaign is to encourage children aged 6-14 to comply with the law which requires them to wear a helmet when riding on a motorcycle. We are hopeful that these enforcement campaigns will result in a sustainable increase in child helmet use.
Our Helmets for Kids projects are in full swing across Vietnam. We have expanded our work in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Dong Nai, and Ho Chi Minh City, and are continuing to work in Hanoi, Cau Giay, and Hai Duong. Nearly 10,000 students have received helmets and road safety education in Vietnam alone. Extracurricular activities focused on road safety reinforce messages of staying safe on the roads learned in the classroom. In Vietnam, helmet wearing rates increase on average 79 percentage points through these interventions.
As part of our public awareness campaign, AIP Foundation hosted a Family Day event on March 24 called “Kids Love Helmets” at a popular park in Ho Chi Minh City. Children and their parents participated in road safety games, which included slow bicycle riding, helmet painting, and potato sack races (with road sign matching). The winners of the road safety games received Protec helmets as a prize. Other event highlights were the performance of a famous Vietnamese boy band, 365, and a flashmob, where each of the core participants wore a helmets. A family day will be taking place on the May 4 in Hanoi to highlight the importance of child helmet wearing. We expect to continue to see increases in child helmet rates through the synergies of these four initiatives.