#KnowSafetyNoAccidents UK Consulate Launches its Safety Campaign
Sad Statistics for Road Accidents in Saigon
Based on a study by the World Health Organisation, an average of one individual dies every hour due to road accidents in Vietnam. Unsurprisingly, most deaths, severe injuries, disabilities and emergency evacuations of foreigners in Vietnam are a result of motorbike accidents that strike individuals who may be insufficiently equipped or lack awareness of how to ride safely in a country where road conditions and driving culture may be vastly different from their country of origin.
On September 27th, 2018, the British Consul-General Mr. Ian Gibbons launched the British Consular Team’s #KnowSafetyNoAccidents campaign at British International School HCMC. A panel of speakers ranging from road-safety experts, motorbike enthusiasts and healthcare experts were invited to share their experiences and knowledge with eager educators, expats and other members of the public.
Road Safety Starts With Good Motorbike Gear in Saigon
Mr. Trevor Long, a longtime motorbike enthusiast living in Vietnam, shared a tip for motorcyclists: Riders should always be equipped with a pressure gauge to ensure that motorbike tires are well-inflated and roadworthy. Most local maintenance shops over-inflate tires and braking action is severely compromised as a result.
Mr. Tran Huu Minh from the National Traffic Safety Committee shared the sobering news that there is an epidemic of fake motorbike helmets. An estimated 40 percent of helmets sold in large cities such as Saigon are counterfeits.Riders should only buy helmets from supermarkets and retail outlets of certified brands.
Parents need to be especially vigilant. 90 percent of student accidents involve individuals aged 16 to 18 years old. Accidents are due to several factors that can be a deadly combination. Many young adults ride motorcycles rated 50cc or below, there is a lack of driving experience and they may not have a proper license to operate 50cc motorbikes.
Ms Mirjam Sidik, a representative of AIP Foundation, said that “An estimated 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is lost in Vietnam because of road accidents.” AIP Foundation focuses on raising awareness about the social, economic and human impact of road accidents in Vietnam and other developing countries. She added that a 5 km/h reduction of speed effectively reduces the chance of fatal accidents by a stunning 30 percent.
The Saigon Safety Campaign Continues
Mr John Fox, Asia Pacific Consular Regional Director for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, gave further insights about UK Consular Team in Vietnam’s future plans. “We’ll be working on online campaigning via the UK in VN’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Videos and pictorial stories highlighting measures people can take to be safer on the roads in Vietnam will be shared with the public.”
Image source: Mervin Lee