Asia Injury Prevention Foundation
|Asia Injury Prevention Foundation|
|Type:||Non-Profit Interest group|
|Headquarters:||Hanoi, Vietnam, with branch offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok|
|Method:||Media attention, direct-appeal campaigns, helmet donations|
|Area served:||Southeast Asia|
Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (commonly known as 'AIP Foundation') is a non-profit enterprise begun to combat the growing traffic crisis in Southeast Asia. Across the globe in developing countries, traffic safety is becoming an increasingly important issue as commerce is increasing at a rapid rate, while travel infrastructure has not been given the time, nor the opportunity to catch up. Every day 3,000 individuals and 500 children are killed because of road accidents. Over 85% of these causalites occur in low and middle-income countries. In Vietnam alone, 35 young people are killed a day from traffic accidents. Between 1999 and 2002 motorcycles on the road rose 100% and road deaths increased over 90%. In 2002, Vietnam recorded 28,658 traffic accidents. There were 12,735 fatalities and 32,131 injuries, that is a rate of 14.4 deaths per 10,000 motor vehicles. In the United States, the comparable figure is 2.1 deaths. To combat this situation, AIP Foundation began Helmets for Kids (HFK), a program which endeavors to provide every child a helmet.
Owned by AIP Foundation, Protec is a non-profit helmet manufacturer. Its mission is to produce high quality, yet affordable helmets that address the needs of Vietnamese and other South Asian consumers.
Common complaints among the Vietnamese towards the full-faced helmets on the market is that they are too hot and heavy. As a result, these helmets are rarely worn because the heat, as well as the limited viewing capacity makes them unfeasible. Protec, and other south-Asian helmet producers, have begun selling a tropical helmet. Similar in structure to bike helmets in the west, tropical helmets are lightweight, have multiple air vents, and do not cover the ears or side of the face. In Vietnam, this is extremely important. City roads in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City are saturated and a motorcyclist will often be surrounded by three or four other motorists, all of whom would be hidden if the driver was wearing a full-faced helmet. Protec was established, not only to provide quality safety equipment, but also to enable Asia Injury to be self-sustaining. Protec profits are directed back to Asia Injury to fund further traffic safety programs.
Helmets for Kids
The program is designed to not only distribute safety helmets, but also to expose children to the importance of traffic safety at an early age. Through donations to children, helmet use within the whole country slowly increased. Education on helmet safety began through the distribution of brightly colored booklets about road safety to schoolchildren and accompany manuals to their teachers. AIP Foundation also manage to create public safety advertisements, which ran in several Vietnamese newspapers. By the end of 2007, over 300,000 helmets were distributed in South Asia. Even though the majority of helmets go to Vietnamese children, HFK ceremonies have also been held in, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. By September 15, 2007, the government made helmet-wearing mandatory on all provincial roads. On December 15, 2007, the compulsory helmet law will go national and will take effect in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Helmet laws are still being worked on in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.
On November 6, 2007, to show international support and recognition of the Vietnamese road safety crisis an HFK event was attended by US Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, and his delegation of 23 leading American companies.
A controversy has been the introduction of tropical helmets, which do not protect the jaw bone but only the skull. These helmets are internationally recognized by the WHO as an alternative to full-face helmets which are very costly and extremely uncomfortable in hot climates. As the Vietnamese law still covers full-face helmets, motorbike riders in Vietnam now can choose to wear a full face helmet, but they must wear some kind of helmet. Giving people the choice of tropical helmets was seen as a necessary condition to reach near-universal helmet use rates.
Before the helmet law came into effect on December 15, 2007, a few development experts, including Tadamich Hoshi of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were quoted as saying that the planned date for the law was too early. Much of this concern may have been due to fears that, like the helmet laws already in existence in Vietnam (passed in 2000 and 2001), this one would be ignored and the political capital spent to pass it would have been wasted. This has not been the case. Helmet wearing rates in the country reached 99% on the day of enforcement and have continued to remain high - hovering between 80 and 90%. Rates drop in the evening and on weekends when enforcement is not as stringent.
||This article uses bare URLs for citations, which may be threatened by link rot. (April 2014)|
- [dead link]
- "The Campaign for Global Road Safety". Make Roads Safe. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
- Or it won't be, if you don't wear a helmet, Vietnam Discovery, Issue 31, August 15, 2004-September 15, 2004
- Buckman, Rebecca. Vietnam's Dangerous Streets. Far Eastern Economic Review. April 3, 2003
- Helmets: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners.. Geneva: Wold Health Organization. 2006. p. 13.