Children to call for better support in road safety at Race for Survival

Friday 7 August 2015

This Monday, child representatives from six schools in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will be attending Save the Children’s “Race for Survival” in order to reinforce the importance of helmet wearing to increase child survival at Bang Chak (Komolprasert-utid) School, Bangkok.

Despite achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 – to reduce child mortality by two thirds between 1990 and 2015 - Thailand’s population still faces many challenges.  The lack of child helmet use, for example, leaves many children at risk of life-threatening injuries and disabilities that could jeopardize their future.

More than 7 children are killed on the roads every day in Thailand. With an estimated 1.3 million children in Thailand traveling on motorcycles, the Thai government has legislated that all people – including children – are required to wear a safety helmet at all times.  Still, many child passengers are often seen without helmets – only 7% of children in Thailand currently wear helmets while riding motorcycles.  This leads to devastating results - approximately 2600 children are killed, and more than 72,000 are injured, every year in road crashes.

In order to increase visibility on this critical issue, on 10 August, children will participate in the Race for Survival in the presence of Bangkok Governor Representative and representatives from Ministry of Education, and other relevant organizations at both international and national levels.  

Allison Zelkowitz, Save the Children in Thailand Country Director, states that “Save the Children believes that no child should be left behind and that every child has an equal right to survive and thrive no matter where they are born.  Thailand may have achieved MDG4, but many children still die from preventable causes in Thailand.  This must stop.” 

Save the Children seeks to minimize children’s road crash deaths and injuries by increasing parents, teachers, and children’s awareness of the risks, and ensuring helmet-wearing becomes a habit through positive peer influence.

"Many parents believe children don’t need to wear helmets, because they themselves are safe drivers, and can hold onto their children if they get in an accident,” says Allison.  “But this is not the case – if they’re in a crash, children will fly off the motorcycle, and they may die if they aren’t wearing helmets.”

Save the Children has been working in Thailand for over 30 years.  Its programs focus on education, child protection, disaster risk reduction, health and nutrition, as well as humanitarian response and relief during disasters.

Save the Children in Thailand is currently partnering with the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation in a collaborative effort called “The 7% Project,” which aims to decrease motorcycle death and injury among Thai children by increasing helmet use from 7% to 60% by 2017.

Event details

Representatives of the media are invited
Date:    Monday, 10 August 2015
Time:    9.00 – 11.30 a.m.
Venue:  Bang Chak (Komolprasert-utid) School, Phasi Charoen, Bangkok
Registration starts at 9.00 a.m., followed by a children's race and the baton handover to representatives from the government and relevant organizations, and an award-winning performance by students from Bang Chak (Komolprasert-utid) School
For more information about the event in other countries, see www.savethechildren.net/raceforsurvival. 

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For more information, please contact 
Songporn Leelakitichok (Bea)
Communications and Advocacy Coordinator 
Save the Children Thailand
Email: bea.leelakitichok@savethechildren.org