"Helmets for Kids” project gifted almost 3,300 quality helmets to primary students in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai in the 2017 – 2018 academic year. Illustrative image. (Photo: AIP Foundation)

Hanoi (VNA)
– Almost 3,300 qualified helmets have been presented to primary students in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai in the 2017 – 2018 academic year.

The figure was announced at a conference to review the “Helmets for Kids” project led by the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP Foundation) in Pleiku city, Gia Lai, on May 18.

The helmets were gifted to students from nine primary schools in the districts of Chu Pah, Mang Yang, Kong Chro, Chu Se and Dak Doa and Ayun Pa town.

According to a survey by local authorities, 96 percent of primary students in Gia Lai province wore quality helmets and 100 percent had a correct use of the helmets thanks to the project. The students have also reportedly had better sense of compliance with road safety rules. These have contributed to the reduction of brain injuries and fatality due to traffic accidents.

The “Helmets for Kids” project is expected to bring 2,000 helmets to pupils of 12 other primary schools in Gia Lai in the 2018 – 2019 school year.

The AIP Foundation was founded by Greig Craft in 1999 to raise awareness about the social, economic, and human impact of the rising number of road crash injuries and fatalities in developing countries, beginning with Vietnam.

Former US President Bill Clinton launched the “Helmets for Kids”, the AIP Foundation’s first school-based program, on November 19, 2000 in Ho Chi Minh City and the project is now active across Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

The motorcycle safety initiative provides school children and teachers with quality helmets and road safety education through funding support from numerous private sector partners.

According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, in 2017, the country witnessed a total of 20,000 accidents, claiming the lives of nearly 8,300 people and injuring 17,000 others.

Over the last five years, the figure of fatalities has shown a gradual downward trend, but still never dropped below 8,000. Vietnam’s traffic fatality rate of 24.5 per 100,000 is Southeast Asia’s second-highest, following Thailand, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). In 2016, the number of deaths even went up by 14 compared to 2015, with most accidents involved motorbikes.-VNA