“… Thousands of lives saved"

Sunday, 2019-03-24 16:21:42
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Vietnam strives to increase the rate of standard helmet wearing among children to 80% by 2030. (Photo: NDO/Luong Tuan Hung)
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NDO – Launched in 2017, the Traffic Safety Campaign named "#3,500 Lives" conveys the message as a reminder to everyone: every day that passes, 3,500 people in the world die from traffic accidents.

>>> Vietnam launches #3500 Lives traffic safety campaign

The campaign has now spread to more than 900 cities in nearly 80 countries worldwide and become the largest road safety campaign in history, aiming to achieve the UN's sustainable goal of halving the number of deaths due to traffic accidents each day by 2020.

Recently, the Vietnam’s National Traffic Safety Committee and the International Automotive Federation (FIA) organised a launch ceremony for the "#3,500 Lives" campaign, announcing that Vietnam is committed to implementing the UN's traffic accident mitigation goal.

Implementing the UN General Assembly Resolution on improving global road safety and responding to Decade of Action for Road Safety, the FIA ​​has developed and launched the "#3,500 Lives" campaign. The 15 global ambassadors of the campaign, who are professional athletes, politicians and celebrities in many fields, have actively conveyed messages about safe driving through 12 golden rules set by the FIA ​​with the desire to spread them widely. Specifically, there are acts of "not using the phone when driving", "not driving when drinking", "wearing helmets when participating in traffic by motorcycles or electric bicycles " and "fastening seat belts, using car seats for children in cars". This is a global campaign to raise the awareness of people around the world on the importance of road traffic safety.

In the last 10 years, the Party and the State have issued multiple practical policies and programmes to ensure traffic safety. Accordingly, continuously from 2012 to 2018, positive results of restraint and reduction of traffic accidents have been gained, deeply reducing all three criteria in the number of cases, deaths and injuries. In the first two months of 2019, traffic accidents continued to record a decline, a decrease of 523 cases, 150 deaths and 348 injuries compared to the same period last year. The above results show the great efforts of Vietnam, with the participation of the whole political system and people in the synchronous and effective implementation of measures to improve traffic safety.

However, traffic safety in general is still complicated and the damage caused by traffic accidents in Vietnam is still high compared to many countries in the world, requiring the nation to continue with higher determination and stronger measures to ensure traffic safety in 2019 and the following years.

Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, who is also Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, affirmed that, in 2019, the Vietnamese Government set the year as the Traffic Safety Year with the theme "Traffic safety for passengers and motorcyclists", striving to reduce traffic accidents from 5 to 10% in all three criteria. Therefore, the launch of the "#3,500 Lives" response campaign has a very practical meaning.

In Vietnam, the launch ceremony will be the first official event to implement the campaign activities with the goal of raising awareness of the community, especially young people, about "lifesaving principles" when participating in traffic with the message "Safe transportation, thousands of lives saved". Meanwhile, the campaign also encourages Governments to increase their commitment to ensuring the safety of transport infrastructure for users, as well as to find and apply solutions to cope with the challenges in road traffic safety.

"The campaign is not only a step towards minimising casualties caused by traffic accidents, but also demonstrates the strong commitment of the Government and people of Vietnam to the international community in the process of promoting the image of a safe, friendly and civilised country," Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh stressed.

Vietnam is the representative of Asia opening the campaign, committing to implement the UN's targets in Sweden in 2020 to summarise the results achieved for the Decade of Action for Road Safety during 2010-2020 and heading to the next stage during 2020-2030. With the cooperation and support of the international community, governments and international organisations worldwide, plus the strong participation of authorities at all levels and people in Vietnam, the situation of traffic safety in the country and worldwide will continue to improve.

According to Foundation President of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Greig Craft, towards the UN Ministers meeting to be held in Sweden in February 2020, the union of NGOs on road safety has initiated an initiative to select a country in each continent to grant the commitment on the implementation of UN's mitigation goals and Vietnam has been selected as the country representing Asia to implement this initiative.

Deputy Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee Khuat Viet Hung said that in implementing the UN's goal of reducing traffic accidents, the Government of Vietnam pledged to successfully implement the three-year road safety plan, which integrates global road safety goals of the UN in its plans, increases the proportion of helmet wearing in children to more than 80% by 2030, and implements measures to ensure helmet quality and eliminate unqualified helmets in the market.

According to UN Special Envoy on Road Safety Jean Todt, raising the proportion of helmet wearing is necessary. Wearing helmets has been shown to minimise the risk of death and serious accidents when a collision occurs. Ensuring the quality of helmets in the market is very important to protect the lives of users.

At the launch ceremony of the "#3,500 Lives" campaign, Vietnamese Minister of Transport, Nguyen Van The, gave a symbol of "Vietnam's commitment to fulfill the UN Traffic Safety targets” to FIA Chairman Jean Todt, and at the same time received a commitment to support Vietnam of the union of NGOs on road traffic. With the witness of Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh, Jean Todt announced the Vingroup's Vinfast vehicle brand as the main sponsor of the "#3,500 Lives" campaign in Vietnam.