January 18, 2024
HANOI and HAI DUONG, Vietnam – January 18, 2024
Small steps lead to big changes, and across Vietnam, safe school zones for every student are one step closer to becoming a reality thanks to the Safe School Zones Guide Vietnam (SSZ Guide). Two years in the making, this SSZ Guide is a reliable blueprint to address on a larger scale the safe mobility issue around schools across the country. Earlier today marked the first time that the SSZ Guide was officially handed over to the Ministry of Transport (MOT) of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Atsani Ariobowo, Director of Child & Youth Health at FIA Foundation, attended the meeting with MOT and AIP Foundation representatives to discuss unsafe school zones in Vietnam and the next steps to improve school zone safety nationwide. Following the endorsement of the SSZ Guide by the MOT of Vietnam in August 2023, Atsani Ariobowo handed over the Safe School Zone Guide to the MOT on 18th January 2024.
The SSZ Guide in practice to safeguard young lives
During the visit, FIA Foundation and AIP Foundation teams also met with local government partners in Hai Duong province to learn more about their experiences and challenges with improving school zones by using the Safe School Zones Guide. The teams visited a primary school that the provincial government modified on their own budget following engagement and training with the SSZ Guide.
The meeting and school visit in Hai Duong demonstrated the Safe School Zones Guide’s effectiveness in improving safety for students when commuting to and from school through Hai Duong government invested VND 2,7 billion (USD 110,000) to enhance safety for six school zones in Hai Duong Province.
Government of Vietnam endorses the Safe School Zones Guide nationwide
On August 28, 2023, the Ministry of Transport issued an official letter recommending the second version of the Safe School Zones Guide Vietnam (SSZ Guide) as the first national reference material on safe school zones. Based on the encouraging results of the pilot study as well as the feedback from the government, the SSZ Guide will be scaled up to build the evidence base to support legislation establishing a legal school zone definition in Vietnam – which would require all school zone developments to meet a minimum safety standard aligned with the parameters of the SSZ Guide.
Paving the way to safer streets for all students in Vietnam
In Vietnam, over 17 million children are commuting between home and school 2-4 times per day. Many children share the road with speeding trucks, with no sidewalks to walk on going to school. Alarmingly, traffic speeds around schools frequently and significantly exceed internationally recommended school zones’ speed limits.
To safeguard the lives of young students on their journeys to school, AIP Foundation, in partnership with the FIA Foundation, has developed the SSZ Guide. AIP Foundation and the Ministry of Transport held a signing ceremony to kick-start the program in Hanoi in October 2021. Both parties officially committed their roles and responsibilities for the national project. The SSZ Guide aimed to provide a policy and procedure framework for safe school zones to be constructed and implemented around the country.
– To see more photos of the event, please click here.