The Safe to School – Safe to Home programme, which was developed through the Global Road Safety Initiative, was first launched in Ha Nam province, Vietnam, in August 2013. Since that time the programme has been refined and replicated in a number of countries in the region and beyond.
The lead example of the project in Ha Nam can also speak to some very sound results, including increases in helmet wearing amongst children in target schools: from 28.5% to 87.3% in primary schools, and from 21% to 88% in secondary schools. The helmet wearing practices of parents saw an increase, from 70.5% to 90%. The installation of rumble strips, speed signs and painted markings has slowed speed down around the schools and the improvements to sidewalks, together with the student mapping of their walking routes, has seen an increase of children and parents following safer routes to and from school. Overall, this has contributed to a reduction in road traffic accidents leading to injury in the areas around the target schools.
The success of the Safe to School – Safe to Home model is also seen through the funding and in-kind support given to the projects by local project partners, and in what is an exciting evolutionary step for the programme, in the support of a local private sector organization to fund the replication of the programme in a new location; specifically, Shell Vietnam is to facilitate the replication of the programme in the province of Dong Nai.
The launch and opening workshop of the Dong Nai Safe to School – Safe to Home project was held on 27 and 28 January 2015, attended by 27 representatives from the Vietnam Red Cross, Shell Vietnam, the GRSP and local stakeholders from provincial, district and commune levels including the Dong Nai PTSC, Long Thanh and Phuoc Thai Traffic Safety Committees, Long Thanh and Phuoc Thai Divisions of Education and Training, Long Thanh and Phuoc Thai police, Dong Nai Television and Radio Agency as well as 30 teachers and more than 200 pupils representing the target schools.
The launch was greeted with widespread media coverage creating an initial wave of public awareness of the project, whilst the workshop served to build capacity of key road safety stakeholders to improve road safety for children through:
- a detailed understanding of the Safe to School – Safe to Home methodology and action plan.
- enhanced knowledge on road safety measures for protecting vulnerable road users.
- practical experience in the use of the road safety assessment tool; a tool developed by GRSP member ARRB specifically for use in assessing the road safety environment in school zones in Safe to School – Safe to Home implementations right around the world.
We shall keep you informed as this exciting replication project develops and we would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate Shell Vietnam for taking the initiative to contribute to the Dong Nai community. We also wish to pass on our appreciation to the Ha Nam PTSC who will be supporting the Dong Nai teams through the sharing of their skills and experience in the implementation of the Safe to School – Safe to Home methodology.