Violence and Injury Prevention

Road safety in Viet Nam

Police enforcing road safety laws in Viet Nam
Bloomberg Philanthropies 2013

The Global status report on road safety 2013 estimates that more than 21 600 people are killed in road traffic crashes in Viet Nam every year. Motorcyclists account for the highest proportion of these fatalities. Most of those killed and injured are males between the ages of 15 and 49 years. Viet Nam is one of the countries included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme which is being conducted over five years (2010-2014) by a consortium of international partners together with national governments and local organizations.

Viet Nam road safety project

The overall goal of the road safety project in Viet Nam is to help the Government of Viet Nam prevent death and serious injuries on its roads by preventing drink–driving and promoting quality helmets for motorcycle drivers and passengers.

While some components of the project are being implemented nationally such as (e.g. legislative reform and social marketing, legislative reform), others are being carried out in the following provinces:

  • Ha Nam
  • Ninh Binh
  • Vinh Phuc
  • Quang Ninh
  • Bac Ninh

The combined population of these focus provinces is around 5 million people.

Key results

Motorcycle helmet-wearing rates have remained above 90% since the introduction of the motorcycle helmet law in 2008. There has also been a steady increase in the percentage of motorcycle riders in Ha Nam wearing standard helmets. There have been some small reductions in drink–driving since 2010 across all intervention sites.

WHO-supported activities


Since 2007, with the technical support of WHO, the Government of Viet Nam has focused on continuously improving its laws and regulations to promote helmet wearing for motorcyclists and prevent drink–driving.

Improvement in helmet wearing legislation has included a provision which holds parents accountable for ensuring that their children wear appropriate helmets when they are passengers on motorcycles; a progressive increase in fines; and steps towards putting in place a regulatory framework to ensure that motorcycle drivers and passengers wear standard motorcycle helmets. WHO has also supported improvements in drink–driving legislation, including reduction in the limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration levels and subsequent increases in fines and penalties for non-compliance.

Social marketing

WHO produces evidence-based mass media campaigns after extensive research and testing conducted with target audiences. The following social marketing campaigns to prevent drink–driving and promote motorcycle helmets have been developed and aired in Viet Nam.

Drink–driving (2013)
Motorcycle Helmets (2013)
Drink–driving (2012)
Quality Helmets Save Lives (2012)
If You Drink And Drive, You Pay A Lot More (2011)
If You Drink and Drive, You Pay A Lot More (2010)

Working with the media

Media reporting on road safety is an important mechanism for raising awareness among the general public and promoting specific policy changes by policy-makers. In 2013 WHO organized a series of workshops on general road safety concepts as well as on drink–driving and motorcycle helmets. Working with the Press Training Center of the Viet Nam Journalist Association, 52 national print journalists and a further 35 provincial journalists and editors have been trained to date. In 2014, the work with media focused on television news broadcasters. A three-day workshop was organized to address the specific needs of this group, which included a number of specialized traffic or road safety television reporters. With the continued support of the Press Training Centre, 14 such reporters were trained in Hanoi in June 2014.