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Motorcycle helmet wearing in children in Viet Nam—a comparison of pre and post law
  1. PN Nguyen1,
  2. J Passmore1,
  3. TH Nguyen2
  1. 1World Health Organization, Vietnam Country Office, Vietnam
  2. 2Hanoi School of Public Health, Vietnam

    Abstract

    Background In Vietnam, from 15th December 2007, the Government mandated all motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet when travelling on a motorcycle. Helmet wearing among adults has been maintained at more than 90% since then, however in children, compliance has been a much greater challenge.

    Methods Roadside observations at 16 randomly selected primary and secondary schools in 4 provinces were conducted in December 2009 and December 2010. Observations conducted on one weekday and one weekend day, not consecutively. Four time frames were used for observations being: 7:00–9:00, 10:00–12:00, 16:00–18:00 and 19:00–21:00.

    Results 13 200 and 14 050 children 6–15 years of age were observed in 2009 and 2010 respectively. Majority of school children (64.2% and 68.9% in 2009 and 2010 respectively) did not wear a helmet when travelling to and from school. Lowest wearing was in Hanoi (16.9%) with Can Tho Province recording the highest (43.7%). Compared with 2009, compliance rate in HaNoi, Da Nang and Can Tho decreased. Only Yen Bai saw an improvement from 18.9% to 30.9% (p=0.000). Overall, wearing decreased significantly from 35.8% in 2009 to 31.1% in 2010 (p=0.000).

    Policy Implications Despite the existence of helmet law for children, compliance has worsened. Public education for adults on the legal requirement to put a helmet on their child, as well as penalties for failure to comply, coupled with intensive enforcement by traffic police and schools is urgently required.

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