Background Drink driving is a major risk factor for road crashes in Viet Nam. Studies have shown up to 36% motorcycle riders and 66.8% car drivers admitted to hospital had a BAC above the limit.
Activities This program partnered with National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC), Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) implemented pilot enhanced enforcement of drink driving in 5 provinces of Viet Nam. Senior traffic police were trained overseas on this model followed by extensive trainings for police officers in program provinces. Police operations were supplemented by international standard breathalysers, and an intensive social marketing campaign on national and provincial media. Implementation results in different time periods were periodically briefed to senior leaders of NTSC, and General Department of Police for decision making. Independent monitoring was provided by Hanoi School of Public Health (HSPH).
Results The enforcement campaign was implemented from 2010 to December 2013. More than 200,000 road users were breath tested during high alcohol times (12 pm – 2 pm and 6 pm – 9 pm). The efficiency of enforcement improved dramatically. The number of tests given in 2013 in Quang Ninh was 22 times higher than in Bac Ninh where the new practice was not implemented.
Enforcement results showed a declining trend of violations from over 30% to less than 10% in intervention provinces. Public’s awareness on drink driving has been maintained at over 90%. Monitoring results from HSPH showed a declining mortality trend between 2010 and 2013.
Having shown high efficiency and high public acceptance of the new enforcement model, in June 2014, the General Department of Police issued a decision to implement the new enforcement practice nation-wide. In 45 days of implementation of the national enforcement campaign applying the new practice between mid-December 2014 and February 2015, traffic police penalised 35,370 drivers for violations of drink driving regulation compared with virtually none before the program.
Conclusions It’s essential to design and implement solid pilot program so good quality data could be produced and presented to senior Government leaders to advocate for policy change. It’s also crucial to link pilot interventions to national priorities to ensure large program impact and sustainability – an important factor for a problem that requires long term interventions.
- road safety
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