Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport (MoT) in collaboration with the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP) held a workshop to introduce a handbook on school zone traffic safety on October 6.
The event attracted the participants of stakeholders in the transport sector, officials from the MoT, and those from provincial and municipal Departments of Transport.
The handbook on traffic safety in school zones
Nguyen Cong Bang, deputy director of the Department of Transport under the MoT said that currently, on average in Vietnam, more than 17 million children have to travel two to four times a day from home to school and vice versa. There are many children walking to school on roads without sidewalks, many of which have mixed lanes.
“What alarming is that traffic speeds around schools frequently exceed internationally recommended speed limits for school zones,” Bang said.
|Nguyen Cong Bang, deputy director of the Department of Transport under the MoT
At the event, participants discussed solutions to ensure traffic safety for students, and shared lessons about how to upgrade transport infrastructure around school zones,
Nguyen Xuan Tung, a specialist from the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Transport, a contributor to the handbook, stated that its primary objective was to tackle road traffic safety concerns, ranging from the planning and infrastructure development phases to the design and assessment of traffic safety in school zones.
The handbook outlines the concept of a "safe school zone". This serves as a foundational reference for planners, designers, builders, and policymakers to implement strategies that reduce risks for students commuting to schools in Vietnam.
|Nguyen Xuan Tung, a specialist from the Faculty of Civil Engineering at the University of Transport, introduced the handbook
Tung added, “We urge professionals, including designers, engineers, and experts in road infrastructure and traffic, to utilise the handbook as a guide when executing projects associated with school zones.”
According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, in 2016-2021, the number of traffic accidents involving people under 18 years old nationwide accounted for 6.75 per cent of the total number of road accidents, but in 2021, the threshold was 10.63 per cent.
Road traffic accidents are the second leading cause of deaths and serious injuries among children and young people aged 0-19, just behind drowning accidents. Road traffic accidents also cause half of deaths among adolescents aged 15-19.
|Participants discussed solutions to ensure traffic safety for students
In an effort to ease traffic accidents among children, the Party and the government have issued many related mechanisms and policies. They include the prime ministerial direction in Decision No. 2060/QD-TTg dated December 2020 on approving the national strategy to ensure road traffic safety, targetting 100 per cent of school gate areas located on national highways, provincial roads, and urban main roads will have completed traffic organisation to ensure safety and prevent traffic jams by 2030.
To join hands in protecting the lives of Vietnamese student generations on their journey to school, in 2021, AIP with support from the MoT and the University of Transport started work on the handbook.
After two years of research and pilot application, the handbook has been completed. In August 2023, the handbook was sent by the Ministry of Transport to localities as a reference to ensure traffic safety for roads passing through school zones nationwide.
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