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In Vietnam, parents take children to school defying compulsory helmet rule

Saturday, August 24, 2019, 10:00 GMT+7
In Vietnam, parents take children to school defying compulsory helmet rule
A woman carries three children, who wear no helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

It is not uncommon to spot parents taking children to school without the kids wearing helmets in Vietnam, despite a 12-year-old stipulation that mandates people traveling by motorbike to use the protective gear.

The compulsory helmet rule, taking effect in 2007, requires that motorbike drivers and the back-seat passengers individually wear a helmet while traveling.

The regulation is applicable to people aged six and above, which means children from first grade have to follow the rule.

However, many adults can still be seen carrying their children on the two-wheelers without anyone wearing a protective gear for their heads.

In other cases, the parents do wear the mandatory helmets for themselves but leave their children’s heads unprotected.

A woman carries four children, who wear no helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A woman carries four children, none of whom wears a helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

Those who defy the compulsory helmet rule will be in great trouble as Vietnam’s National Traffic Safety Committee will kick off a campaign next month to ensure road users follow this specific regulation.

During the campaign, traffic police in many provinces and cities will increase the frequency of patrols on routes near schools to check whether parents wear the head protectors for their children. 

Accordingly, adults carrying children on motorbikes and electric bicycles without the kids wearing helmets will face stricter penalties starting September 1.

Police stop a man for carrying two children without them wearing helmets on Vo Van Kiet Street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.
Police stop a man for carrying two children without them wearing helmets on Vo Van Kiet Street in District 5, Ho Chi Minh City.

Fatality from traffic accidents involving motorbikes is mostly a result of head injury.

Adults who refuse to wear helmet for their children usually make excuse that they are only traveling too short a distance for any accident to happen. Others say the weight of a helmet adds additional stress on the neck.

It is also a common mindset that one should wear a helmet only to avoid being punished by the police, so many will only buy cheap, poor-quality gears that have little use in protecting their heads.

A man carries his child on a motorbike on Tran Quang Khai Street in Ho Chi Minh City, with helmets being hung on the vehicle instead of being worn by the two. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries his child on a motorbike on Tran Quang Khai Street in Ho Chi Minh City, with helmets being hung on the vehicle instead of being worn by the two. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries three children, who wear no helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries three children, none of whom wears a helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A woman carries her child on a street in Ho Chi Minh City, wearing no helmet. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A woman carries her child on a street in Ho Chi Minh City, both wearing no helmet. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents and children wearing no helmet travel wrong way on a section of National Highway 1 passing through District 12, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents and children without helmets travel wrong way on a section of National Highway 1 passing through District 12, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries four children, who wear no helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries four children, none of whom wears a helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents wear helmets, while their children don’t on a street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents wear helmets, while their children don’t on a street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents wear helmets, while their children don’t on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents wear helmets, while their children don’t on Nguyen Binh Khiem Street in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents pick up children from a school in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City, wearing no helmet, on August 22, 2019. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
Parents pick up children from a school in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City, wearing no helmet, on August 22, 2019. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries two children, who wear no helmet, on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in District 3, in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries two children, who wear no helmet, on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street in District 3, in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries four children, who wear no helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre
A man carries four children, who wear no helmet, on one vehicle in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Quang Dinh / Tuoi Tre

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