UNICEF and MOLISA launch nationwide “Have Them Home Safe” campaign to call for helmet wearing practice and reduced speed for child road safety



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Ha Noi, 09 December 2017 – The United Nations Children’s Fund in Viet Nam and the Government of Viet Nam today launch a national communication campaign to raise awareness and promote public advocacy on child road safety to accelerate the efforts on preventing child and adolescent deaths and injuries due to road traffic accidents as the second leading cause of child fatalities in the country.

The event, organized at the Dich Vong B Primary School in Ha Noi with the participation of over 1,500 school children, teachers and government authorities from the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), the National Assembly, the National Traffic Safety Committee, People’s Committee of Ha Noi, line ministries such as Ministry of Education and Training, Ministry of Health appeals for attention on the vulnerabilities that children and adolescents worldwide and particularly in Viet Nam face every day on their way to school and on the road. At the same time, organisers call for public and authorities’ actions to improve road safety situations, especially for children in Viet Nam.

“Accelerate efforts for both policy makers and the general public must be done to ensure awareness and strict practices of road safety behaviors and improved infrastructure and roads.” says Vice Minister of MOLISA, Dao Hong Lan at the event.

Every year the lives of approximately 1.25 million people worldwide are cut short as a result of a road traffic crash. Additionally, between 20 and 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, often resulting in disability and economic hardship as road traffic injuries cause considerable economic losses to victims, their families, and to the country as a whole. Around the world, almost 2,000 people are killed every day in road accidents, 500 of them are children. Every four minutes a child perish on the road. Hundreds more children are injured, many severely. Half of those deaths and injuries are among vulnerable road users who are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. 

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In Vietnam, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee, in 2016 road traffic accidents claimed nearly 9,000 lives and caused tens of thousands of injuries. Road traffic accidents are the second leading cause of death and serious injuries among children and adolescents in 0-19 age group, after drowning. Among adolescents aged 15-19, road traffic accidents are the leading cause for 50% of deaths.

“Our own individual behaviors as road users can also have an impact to stem the tide of child road injury,” says Yoshimi Nishino, Acting Deputy Representative of UNICEF Viet Nam. “Therefore, just by slowing down, observing appropriate speed limits as a driver is the first thing that we can do to save the lives of children and make roads safer for all.”

The tide of child road injuries can, indeed, be hampered by improved public awareness of and adherence to safety rules and road traffic law. Helmet wearing for all children and reducing speed on roads with high concentrations of children, particularly in residential and school areas and practices of safe road manners and behaviors, are now recommended especially in low and middle-income countries, where 91% of the world’s road causalities and fatalities happen. Meanwhile helmet wearing can help reduce the risk of death by almost 40% and the risk of severe injury by over 70%, a 5% cut in average speed can result in 30% reduction in the number of fatal crashes.

UNICEF calls for strict enforcement and practice of helmet wearing for both adults and children when on a bicycle or on a motorcycle; and for all drivers slowing down on the road and particularly in areas with high concentrations of children such as around schools.
Authorities are advocated to set and enforce a maximum speed limit of 30 kilometres per hour is residential and school areas where children, pedestrians, cyclists and motorized traffic are the most vulnerable. Building or modifying roads to include features that limit speed such as traffic lights, roundabouts and speed humps are also considered good practices.

At the event, local authorities and participants also signed an Open Letter for commitment on helmet wearing practice and speed reduction for children.

For more information on the “Have Them Home Safe” campaign and resources, please visit UNICEF Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/unicefvietnam.

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