Women of an ethnic group in northern Vietnam can now drive safely with a specially designed crash helmet that protects both their head and high-bun hairstyle stipulated by their customs.
Following the rule to wear a helmet while driving a motorcycle is not easy for women of the Thai minority group, who wear their buns high after marriage as per centuries-old customs.
In 2015, the National Traffic Safety Committee launched a campaign that called for tailored protective headgear to be designed in a way that would allow the ethnic Thai women to wear it, even though their buns are as high as 10 centimeters.
The call has finally been answered, with the first batch of helmets designed with this in mind introduced at a meeting held by the committee in Hanoi on Monday.
The specially designed crash helmet, created as a joint project led by the Ministry of Science and Technology, features an extra space atop, fitting the bun of the wearer.
The National Traffic Safety Committee has handed out 4,000 of the helmets to its sub-committees in Dien Bien, Son La, Lai Chau, Yen Bai, Hoa Binh, Nghe An and Thanh Hoa, all northern provinces inhabited by the Thai ethnic community.
The headgear will be given to needy Thai women in these provinces.
At Monday’s meeting, the national committee continued to call for support to fund further production of the bun-friendly helmets.
Apart from the recipients of the new helmet, most Vietnamese ethnic women will wear the helmet atop their high buns, which allows the protective headgear to easily fall off.
In many cases, women refuse to wear the helmet for the sake of convenience.