Efforts are in place to reduce the death toll on roads around the country.
Starting April 6, the Traffic Police Department of Hanoi has orchestrated a campaign imploring children and youngsters to wear helmets.
On central streets such as Hai Ba Trung, Ngo Quyen or Ly Thuong Kiet, many children sit astride motorcycles without wearing helmets. Parents and youth alike seem surprised when they are asked to stop by traffic police because they are unaware of the new policy. At the Hai Ba Trung – Ngo Quyen intersection, police have recorded dozens of cases of youngsters driving electric bikes without a helmet. There are even cases in which children wear helmets while their parents go without.
When asked to stop at the Giai Phong – Dai Co Viet intersection, one student from Dong Da Secondary School said “I didn't know that using electric bikes without a helmet or using an unsuitable helmet would result in a fine.” A member of Traffic Police Team No. 4 commented that most cases are students who use electric bikes.
All violations from April 6 to April 9 will be tracked, according to Lieutenant Nguyen Minh Duc, Vice Squad of Traffic Police Team No. 1.
Children and youngsters not wearing helmet will be officially fined beginning April 10 nationwide. As a rule, the driver of the motorcycle or electric bike will be charged from VND100,000 ($4.63) to VND200,000 ($9.26) if they are carrying a child from the age of six not wearing a suitable helmet. In addition, police will notify the school of any students caught. Children under six years old, or some emergency cases, will not be met with fines.
In 2014, 94.6 per cent of adults regularly wore a helmet while this number is only 23.6 per cent for children and youngsters according to data from the National Traffic Safety Committee. Each year, there are 1,800-1,900 deaths among children and youths due to traffic accidents.
Traffic polices handled more than 771,000 incidents of not wearing helmet across the country last year. Hanoi had more than 116,000 cases, significantly higher than the 50,000 in Ho Chi Minh City.