Helmet plan for Filipino children
MANILA // A road safety group in the Philippines is adopting a worldwide initiative to ensure children who are passengers on motorcycles wear helmets. The Automobile Association of the Philippines is taking on the Global Helmet Vaccine Initiative (GHVI) that promotes the use of safety helmets for children on motorcycles in developing countries in south Asia, Africa and Latin America. Government and non-government agencies as well as private companies have all become involved in this initiative. There are approximately 3.1 million motorcycles on Filipino roads and, according to the country's Land Transport Office and Department of Health, there were 6,503 injuries recorded as a result of road accidents in the fourth quarter of 2009. Of these injuries, 41.4 per cent involved motorcycles and only 7.3 per cent of these victims were wearing helmets. To launch the initiative in the Philippines, 1,000 helmets were distributed to children in Manila who regularly travel on motorbikes with their parents. To date around 400,000 helmets have been distributed by the GHVI in south-east Asian countries. In Vietnam, it is estimated that this campaign has prevented 670,000 injuries.