400 helmets are presented to pupils of Tan Dinh Primary School at the launch of the UN Global Road Safety Week in May 2015 (Source: VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – Doraemon, a famous Japanese manga character, is featured in a traffic safety campaign targeting Vietnamese children that was launched in Hanoi on April 20. 

Doraemon is popular among children in Asia, including Vietnam, and has served as a symbol of traffic safety for decades in Japan.

The “Doraemon with traffic safety in Vietnam” programme aims to popularise effective ways Japan has conducted to educate children about traffic safety, thus reducing accidents in the country. 

As part of the drive, a slogan contest is open for students aged between six and 15 under the theme “Be careful on the way to school”. Others aged 16 and over can create slogans under the topic “For children’s safety” to vie for prizes. 

The best slogan will be used as the road safety slogan of the year and appear on posters hung at primary schools nationwide, said Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Quang Nhat, head of the traffic law dissemination division of the Ministry of Public Security’s Department of Traffic Police. 

Traffic safety classes will be opened at three schools in Hanoi and two others in Ho Chi Minh City from September. Local traffic police officers along with the Doraemon costumed characters will come to popularise the traffic law and guide primary students how to commute safely. 

Each student at those schools and 20 others in the two cities will also be presented with a road safety handbook and a badge featuring the winning slogan and Doraemon, Nhat said. 

Tsuneda Teruo, Managing Director at Japan’s Mainichi Newspapers Co. Ltd – the campaign’s co-organiser, said about 15,000 Japanese people were killed by traffic accidents every year during the 1980s. 

To deal with this problem, his country launched a traffic safety programme featuring Doraemon 30 years ago. Japan is now one of the countries with the safest traffic network in the world, while its people have very good road sense. The number of traffic-linked deaths has shrunk to around 4,000 a year. 

Vietnam is facing the same situation that Japan experienced in the past, he said, noting that more than 9,000 people die of traffic accidents in the country annually and many of them are children. 

Tsuneda Teruo said it is adults’ responsibility to ensure traffic safety for their children, and they must educate children about this. He said he hopes that Vietnamese parents will take part in the traffic safety campaign since their children often copy what they do.-VNA