On the further subject of developing world traffic safety, Greig Craft of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation writes to tell me of an extension to the motorcycle helmet law in Vietnam:
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has signed today an amendment to Resolution 32, the mandatory helmet law passed in December 2007. All drivers and passengers on motorbikes from the age of six must wear a helmet properly under penalty of a fine from 20 May 2010. Adults carrying children without a helmet or without it properly buckled will be fined 100,000 – 200,000 VND – the equivalent of five to ten US dollars. Those driving in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi will suffer higher penalties than in the rest of the country.
The amendment includes several other road safety measures: increased fines for carrying more than one passenger over the age of fourteen; triple to quadruple the original fine for running red lights; double the original fine for driving the wrong way down a one-way street; and up to a 1.4 million VND, or approximately 75 US dollars, fine for drink driving.
Officials will monitor the increased penalty system in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for 36 months in a pilot project, after which time officials may chose to extend the same fines to the rest of the country.
The extension of the penalties for non-helmet use in Resolution 32 to include children marks the achievement of years of advocacy from many road safety stakeholders in Vietnam. AIP Foundation will encourage helmet use for all ages, and supports the amendment as a milestone for the Vietnamese government in road safety.
Good policy, for sure, though as the photo above indicates, children below 6 are still an issue — yes, that’s a baby she’s carrying. And let’s hope children around age 6 are only passengers, and not drivers.