Vietnam’s local and national governments take the lead in cracking down on low-quality helmets

October 21, 2022

THAI NGUYEN, Vietnam – October 21, 2022 

 At AIP Foundation, we are immensely proud of the work we have achieved together with our local and national government partners in passing the helmet-wearing law in 2007.  Building on the legacy of that achievement, we know that just wearing a helmet is not enough. We must take every step to ensure that people have access to quality helmets that are affordable. 

In that spirit, we are now proud to announce that an inter-sectoral plan has been launched to improve the effectiveness of the execution of the required helmet quality regulation. A ceremony was hosted in Thai Nguyen to announce this action plan, its objectives, and activities and define roles and responsibilities of government stakeholders.

The dangers of not wearing a quality helmet 

 Although Vietnam is regarded as a success story in enforcing the mandatory helmet law for riders of motorcycles, with a relatively high wearing rate nationwide, the persisting issue of wearing low-quality helmets needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, there are many helmets used that do not meet the standard of the  National Technical Regulations on safety helmets. 

A total of 540 child and adult motorcycle helmets were collected and exchanged in Ho Chi Minh City and Thai Nguyen Province to undergo a quality research study conducted in partnership between the AIP Foundation and the Hanoi University of Public Health through the Safety Delivered program, supported by The UPS Foundation.

The issue was that 25.9% of the surveyed helmets were identified as “cap helmets,” which lack the foam lining needed to adequately protect wearers’ heads. By law, these cap helmets do not meet the satisfactory quality requirements as stated in National Technical Regulation. A further issue is that the study found that only 10.5% of helmets in a representative sample of collected helmets were able to successfully pass impact absorption tests followed by government regulations. Worryingly, 89,5% of surveyed helmets worn are sub-standard helmets that would fail to significantly reduce the chance of brain injury or skull fracture of their users in a road crash.

Acting for change together with our Government partners 

The National Traffic Safety Committee and the Thai Nguyen Provincial Traffic Safety Committee have collaborated with UPS Foundation through the  Safety Delivered program to produce an Inter-sectoral Plan to enhance the efficacy of the implementation of mandatory regulations. At the ceremony to announce the launch, the main following activities were laid out as following to take place in November and December 2022: 

1) A capacity-building workshop for police officers and regulators will take place in November 2022;

2) Education and inspiration for young people in Thai Nguyen province to learn about helmet standards, with the target of getting a commitment from 50,000 youths;

3) Strengthening the implementation of regulations on wearing standard helmets for motorcyclists, mopeds, and e-bikes in Thai Nguyen province.

The plan serves as a basis for further solutions to enhance the effectiveness of enforcing laws requiring the use of helmets under the National Technical Regulations for riders of motorcycles, mopeds, and e-bikes nationwide to ensure that every road user is better protected on the streets. 

Useful links: 

  • To see photos of the training, please click here. 
  • To read more about the Vietnam helmet law of 2007, please click here. 
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