Wear the Helmet – No Excuses

A national helmet wearing campaign in Vietnam is to be launched the 29 March 2007. The objective of the campaign is to decrease the number of traffic caused brain injuries by increasing the helmet wearing rates among motor cyclists and cyclists.
“Wear the helmet – No excuses” is co-funded by the Danish Embassy, Asian Development Bank, the Australian Embassy and the World Bank he campaign will be implemented by the Asian Injury Prevention Foundation, a US non-profit organization working on public charity and road safety improvement in Vietnam since 1999. An amount of USD 460,500 is budgeted for the campaign, in which Denmark is the biggest contributor with USD 200,000.
It should be added that the Danish Embassy a year ago introduced a policy of wearing helmets in order to park at the premises of the Embassy. This had the desired effect of all employees driving motorbikes now using helmets to and from the office.
Traffic crashes is becoming one of the main causes for sudden death and disability in Vietnam and is now the leading killer for the 18-45 year-old. Every day traffic accidents in Vietnam cause 35 killings and three times as many traumatic brain injuries. Motorbikes make up 95 % of all traffic accidents in Vietnam, but yet only 3 % of the Vietnamese motorbike riders wear helmet. Head injury and fatalities can be easily prevented by a simple action of wearing a helmet. Therefore Asia Injury Prevention Foundation has chosen helmets as a high priority to tackle road safety and raise the public awareness of the problem.
Though people may be aware of the benefits of using helmet, they are still not wearing it because they find the helmet too hot, too uncomfortable, unappealing, or reducing their hearing and view in the surrounding traffic. This is ironical, as most road users do not seem to have a problem with wearing facemasks made of fabrics to reduce pollution inhalation and sun exposure.
The same regard for personal safety should be instilled for helmets and that is what the new campaign “Wear the Helmet –No Excuses” aims to. Phase 1 of the campaign is aiming to increase helmet wearing rates in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and later expanding throughout the nation. The campaign is to be launched during the United Nations Global Safety Week – April 23-29 and is planned to run for three months for the first Phase.
The campaign will use multiple mediums to reach the different age groups. Thus there will be held “Helmets for Kids” ceremonies targeting the children and two outdoor concerts in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City will target the youth, together with Miss Vietnam and other celebrities wearing helmets to promote the trend of this. In addition, TVC, the Internet (including the Vietnam Yahoo) and outdoor billboards and banners, as well as campaigns on the buses and bus stop signs, will increase the awareness on the need and importance of wearing helmet.

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