Save the Children's 7% Project Presents "Helmet Heroes"

Sunday 29 November 2015

On Saturday Save the Children held an exciting event to celebrate Helmet Heroes in Bangkok. The “Helmet Hero” campaign was launched in October with 11 public figures and celebrities who encourage people, in their own unique ways, to wear helmets when riding motorcycles.

Short videos of the heroes can be seen online at https://goo.gl/6MGkHI, and include Somsri Thammasarnsophon - Thailand’s award winning teacher; acclaimed architect - Duangrit Bunnag; one of the largest motorcycle communities - Biker Chicks Thailand; leading child safety expert Prof Dr Adisak Plitpolkarnpim; renowned director and designer - Koonklang Kaoputhai; and Pol Maj Gen Ruchakorn Chorachewut from the “kids helmet campaign,” to name a few.

These heroes represent different occupations, personalities, and ways of life, but what they all have in common is that they all take road safety, especially helmet wearing, seriously.

The videos have reached over 500,000 views online. The most popular video, “Pra Karn Knock” or “Helmet Monk,” was inspired by the story of the assistant abbot of Patumwanaram monastery.  The video features a Buddhist monk preaching the importance of helmet wearing at a busy Bangkok intersection.

Save the Children will continue to work with the Helmet Heroes to spread the message of road safety to the Thai public - especially families throughout the country - and will work closely with the media to broadcast the achievements to key stakeholders and decision makers.

School Heroes

Save the Children is working in primary schools around the Bangkok Metropolitan Area to change the way parents, teachers, students, and community members think about helmet wearing. School Heroes is a project that involves children from primary schools throughout Bangkok.

Selected by peers as the most influential within their class, these students join forces to lead activities that help raise awareness and change helmet wearing practices among students as well as their families and within the community.

Working in partnership with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation and endorsed by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the pilot road safety project has shown exciting results.

In just one Semester (10 weeks) the percentage of children wearing helmets in the pilot schools nearly tripled. This increase is particularly notable considering that the project did not distribute helmets to all children but wanted schools and families to make use of helmets that they already had.

With the success of the pilot, Save the Children aims to expand the project to 300 schools in Bangkok in 2017.

About the 7% Project

Each day over 1.3 million childrentravel as passengers on motorcycles in Thailand, but only 7% wear helmets – even though it’s the law.

According to the World Health Organization, Thailand has the 2nd deadliest roads in the world. Traffic collisions kill over 2,600 kids yearly, or more than 7 children every day. Another 200 children are injured or disabled every day - 72,680 per year.

In response, Save the Children and the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation launched a nationwide campaign - The 7% Project - to decrease motorcycle death and injury among Thai children by increasing helmet use.

It features an integrated approach focusing on:

Enforcement – ensuring helmet use through school, peer, and police pressure
Education & Behavior Change – teaching children how and why they should wear helmets, and creating good habits at a young age
Media Campaign – nationwide messaging, events, public mobilization, and advocacy
Innovation – designing helmets that youth want to wear, and providing opportunities for children to customize their helmets and express their individuality

All of these components are supported by a cross-cutting “Behavior Influence” methodology to ensure our messages, strategies, and interventions lead to actual, positive behavior change.

Working together with teachers, parents and children, in 2016 the campaign aims to create an integrated grassroots and mass media programme to mobilize decision makers to integrate motorcycle helmets into the school uniform.

As the campaign grows, the 7% Project aims to increase child helmet-wearing rates to save the lives of 2,000 children and prevent 50,000 injuries by 2017. 

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Songporn Leelakitichok
Communications and Advocacy Coordinator
bea.leelakitichok@savethechildren.org