Nearly 8,200 high-quality helmets were donated to students and discounted to parents from nine schools in Tra Vinh and Ho Chi Minh City Wednesday under the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation’s Helmet for Families program.
At a ceremony to launch the program at Tra Vinh’s Ward 8C Primary School, students were also educated on proper helmet-wearing and road safety and teachers were provided with road safety teaching tools.
Additionally, parents were taught how to choose high-quality helmets and advised on the importance of these helmets, AIP Foundation said in a release. They were also offered high-quality helmets with discounts under the program supported by Abbott Vietnam.
Khuat Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) said that the Helmets for Families program has improved the awareness of parents in wearing helmet for children, which is also a target of the National Action Plan on Child Helmet Use.
“Many parents are not aware of the importance of child helmet use. Some parents misunderstand the safe features and benefits of helmets. There are parents that think wearing a helmet could affect their child’s neck, others cannot afford a standard helmet.”
“By educating parents on the importance of quality helmets, and providing and exchanging helmets, we are raising parental support and increasing the impact and sustainability of our efforts... Ensure your children wear helmets: a simple act to prevent long term injuries and fatalities for our future generation,” he said.
This is the first time AIP Foundation has expanded their project to a province in the Mekong Delta. Tra Vinh is one of 13 provinces that will receive targeted helmet use efforts as part of the National Action Plan on Child Helmet Use organized by NTSC.
Comedian Dinh Toan said he could see the crucial need for helmet awareness and road safety education when arriving in Tra Vinh and experiencing the road conditions.
“I hope all the students from today’s event will wear their helmets every day and set a good trend among their friends and family,” he said.
According to AIP Foundation, there is significant need for high-quality helmets and helmet use education in Tra Vinh province, where the majority of the population is low-income and lack helmet law awareness, and more than 30 percent of the population are from minority groups.
The student helmet-wearing rate of Tra Vinh province is 33 percent, compared to that of the 38 percent average in Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, and Da Nang.
Mirjam Sidik, Chief Executive Officer of AIP Foundation said the program is expected to improve people awareness in Tra Vinh after a successful pilot year in Ho Chi Minh City, where student helmet-wearing rates at program schools increased from 27 percent to 84 percent.
“This success shows that incorporating parent helmet exchanges into our helmet donation program leads to parental behavior changes that are aligned with that of students.”