The Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation donated 4,307 helmets to students and teachers from eight schools in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday as part of its Helmets for Kids program, which is supported by the UPS Foundation.
“With over 4,000 helmets being donated today, traffic-accident related injuries and fatalities in Ho Chi Minh City involving students in this very room will be prevented, and 4,000 students and teachers are safer on Vietnam’s roads,” said Actor Dai Nghia, the program’s Goodwill Ambassador during a ceremony held at Nguyen Trong Tuyen Primary School in HCMC’s Binh Thanh District.
According to the AIP Foundation, a student from An Phu Dong Ward, District 12 in Ho Chi Minh City was killed on her bicycle while traveling along Highway 1A in September.
Many child passengers in Vietanm do not wear helmets—especially when traveling short distances, road safety education is a pressing need, the organization said.
To help increase helmet use, eight project schools located on dangerous roads such as National Highway 1A and Truong Chinh or crowded residential areas are receiving helmets and comprehensive road safety education through the Helmets for Kids program.
Select schools include six previously-supported schools in Districts 12 and Binh Chanh and two new project schools in Binh Thanh District.
“Traffic accidents and the resulting injuries and deaths are a major public health issue; however, there is a silver lining: we can work to prevent them,” said Khuat Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee.
“As partners, we understand that strong action creates a strong impact and are committed to protecting children on our roads.”
According to Jeff McLean, General Manager of UPS Vietnam, last school year, there were 24 crashes involving students from UPS project schools.
All 24 students were fortunately wearing their helmets and avoided serious head injuries.
“UPS continues to support Helmets for Kids to prevent injuries and fatalities on the roads, and is engaged well before and beyond donations to help reinforce road safety in order to prevent such life-altering events," he said.
Since 2011, UPS employees have volunteered at project schools to assist in measuring students for helmets and training students how to properly wear their helmets.
During the Wednesday ceremony, The UPS Foundation and UPS Vietnam representatives were also present to assist in handing out the helmets to students.
According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, more than 18,600 traffic accidents claimed 6,758 lives and injured 17,835 others between January and September of this year in Vietnam.