AA Vietnam and AIP Foundation, in collaboration with the Hanoi Traffic Safety Committee, launch the new child car seat initiative at Nam Tu Liem Primary School in Hanoi. (Photo courtesy of the AIP Foundation)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Public awareness campaigns and education will be used to promote use of child car seats and seatbelt for children under a new initiative.

 The Automobile Association Vietnam (AA Vietnam) and non-profit organisation Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, in collaboration with the Hanoi Traffic Safety Committee, has launched a child car seat initiative at Nam Tu Liem Primary School in the capital.

It is modelled after the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile’s toolkit for child safety in cars, and will advocate the use of seatbelts and child seats to be included in the law.

“Vietnam does not currently have laws enforcing the use of restraint systems and seatbelts for children,” said Luu Xuan Binh, deputy chief of the Hanoi Traffic Safety Committee’s Secretariat.

“As more families make the shift from motorcycles to cars, the Government and the public sector need to work together to address these growing safety concerns through legislative change.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in Vietnam, road crashes cause an estimated 24,970 deaths and more than 499,400 injuries each year.

Children are particularly vulnerable with 1,900 dying each year. In fact, road crashes are the second leading cause of death for children between the ages of five and 14.

WHO said wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of death among drivers and front seat occupants by 45-50 per cent and the risk of death and serious injuries among rear seat occupants by 25 per cent.

Besides parent training workshops and government advocacy, the AIP Foundation will implement a public awareness campaign on social media and install a number of hoardings in busy traffic areas around Hanoi. The campaign will reach approximately 78,440 people.

“The programme aligns with the theme of the 5th United Nations Global Road Safety Week: leadership for road safety,” said Hoang Na Huong, managing director of AA Vietnam.

“The parents attending the training will become champions in changing society’s behaviour and protecting children.”

The Child Safety Toolkit is funded by the FIA Foundation through the FIA Road Safety Grant Programme to promote and enforce child passenger safety.-VNS/VNA