2,000 children in Vietnam die in traffic crashes a year, most without helmet

Thanh Nien News

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Two Vietnamese parents ride their children to school without crash helmets. Photo: Nhat Anh Two Vietnamese parents ride their children to school without crash helmets. Photo: Nhat Anh

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About 2,000 children die in road traffic crashes every year in Vietnam and most of them do not wear a helmet, according to new data released by the Traffic Police Department.
The helmet law has not been policed effectively in many localities, leading to the high number of child fatalities, Do Thanh Binh, the department's deputy director, said at a conference in Hanoi on Wednesday.
A recent report by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation showed that the percentage of children wearing helmets on local streets increased from 36 percent to 68 percent during an eight months campaign that promoted awareness and strengthened surveillance last year.
However, the ratio fell to 47 percent after the campaign ended in December, according to the organization.
Last year, police fined nearly 12,000 cases of children on motorbikes without a helmet.
In 2015, the number of crashes involving children, aged from 6-11, fell 40 percent. And yet there were around 2,000 children killed, out of 9,000 traffic related deaths in total, according to official statistics.
Rural areas
Police estimate that less than half of Vietnamese children nationwide wear helmets on motorbikes and electric bicycles.
The violation is particularly common in rural areas where police are not patrolling very often.
In an incident last year on the National Highway 26 in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, a truck avoided a motorbike and drove into the wrong lane, crashing into another motorbike that was carrying four people in a family.
The parents and one of the children died on the spot. The other child was hospitalized for serious injuries.
In another case, an SUV crashed into a motorbike carrying five people in the northern province of Hung Yen, including two kids, and killed them all.
All children in the two cases were not wearing helmets, police said.
Khuat Viet Hung, deputy chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, said the number of children wearing helmets keeps going up and down.
“This shows how important it is for schools to constantly remind parents and children of the law and for the police to patrol frequently," he said.

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