110,000 reached by Thai child motorcycle helmet use programme
The 7% Project, a campaign to increase child motorcycle helmet use in Thailand, has trained 319 teachers from 167 schools, directly reaching 113,928 people through road safety activities in Thailand in 2017. The project’s media and outreach, including public service announcements, has also exposed a potential 12 million people to the campaign’s messages.
The Project is funded by the FIA Foundation and implemented by Save the Children in collaboration the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC), and the Metropolitan Police Bureau, working across the Bangkok area since 2014. It aims to increase motorcycle helmet use among students through a multi-layered approach including, education to influence safer road behavior, police engagement, media campaigns, and helmet adaptations to encourage by young children.
Just 7% of the 1.3 million Thai children who ride on family motorbikes every day currently wear a crash helmet. Motorcycle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children despite the fact that legislation enforcing child motorcycle helmet use has been in place in the country for a number of years.
A total of 12 schools applied to receive seed funds from the Project to train teachers and implement road safety activities. Workshops to train teachers (known as Training of Trainers or ‘TOT’) were held to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to implement road safety initiatives. The workshop also supported the formation of teacher Helmet Ambassadors and, ultimately, to recruit student Helmet Ambassadors, to encourage wider motorcycle helmet use by peers.
Following the training workshops, activities included student Helmet Ambassadors recruitment, award and incentives for students regularly using motorcycle helmets, campaign and awareness raising, and customizing helmet art projects.
The Deputy Director of Department of Education, Thanit Kittiphathanothai, said after attending a workshop: “Though road safety is currently part of the school curriculum it’s mostly based on theoretical knowledge. If the teachers know how to integrate fun activities to complement their course of teachings, it will be more effective. I believe the activity today, by Save the Children, will inspire a change in behavior as the knowledge on how to integrate fun road safety activities within existing curriculum.’
The project, in 2018, is expanding its activities and partnerships further to the district level, with an aim to inspire an inclusive approach to promoting road safety zones for children.
The Save the Children’s 7% Project is currently being supported by grants from the FIA Foundation, as well as Save the Children Korea, and Global Road Safety Partnership.