Attention! Attention! Travelers who are going to Vietnam, please make sure you wear crash helmet when riding a motorcycle there. The Vietnamese government is going to impose a helmet law by Dec 15 forcing motorcylists to wear crash helmet. Currently, helmets are only required on highways outside the cities and government employees who have been required to wear helmets since last month.
The government concerns on the safety of Vietnamese and intended to save lives as the fatality rates has increased every year which contributed by more than 20 millions motorcyclist who cram the busy streets of Vietnam on an average day. Nearly 13,000 deaths recorded last year alone and majority of them are involving motorbikes. Although the government backed down after being protested by the Vietnamese when trying to impose the helmet law in 2001, they are more serious now in tackling this issue.
A few steps has been seriously taken by the government to increase safety awareness among motorcylists. Among them are safety awareness campaign, and raising fine. Currently fine for motorcylists who refused to wear helmet at highway is $1.25 and the government officials are mulling over whether to raise the fine when the new law kicks in. Yes, they should raise the fine because its too low. As a comparison, with $1.25 can buy two cans of Coke in Vietnam. Or maybe, don’t fine those who refuse to wear helmet but ask them to do voluntary work at the hospital for a week. Maybe this type of punishment will help in handling stubborn motorcyclists..