A new road safety initiative has launched in Vietnam to coincide with the 15 year anniversary of the 2007 helmet-wearing law being introduced.

The Empowering Safety program, supported by the Puma Energy Foundation and the AIP Foundation in collaboration with the Traffic Safety Committee and the Department of Education and Training of Ho Chi Minh City, aims to increase the use of quality helmets in high-need communities.

The program aims to develop and distribute United Nations-standard ECE 22.06 helmets. Together with Protec, AIP Foundation’s social enterprise factory and with co-funding from the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Puma Energy Foundation, the helmets are being produced in Vietnam.

As part of the program launch, 750 United Nations helmets were handed over in a ceremony at Tran Khai Nguyen High School.

According to the AIP Foundation, Ho Chi Minh City continues to yield disproportionate risks to young road users – especially those living in low-income districts across the city.

A 2019 helmet study conducted by the Foundation in Ho Chi Minh City found that nearly 90 per cent of surveyed helmets were substandard and would not provide adequate head protection in the event of a crash.

“With a road user population heavily reliant on the private use of motorcycles as a primary mode of transport, there is a critical need for helmet safety programming targeting youth in this city” said Mirjam Sidik, Chief Executive Officer at AIP Foundation.

“One of the simplest and most effective measures that can be taken to prevent road fatalities is to use a helmet.”