Safe Motorbike Driving Event



On Thursday, September 27, British Consulate-General HCMC launched their #KnowSafetyNoAccidents campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of riding motorbikes. The campaign covers how to minimize the risk of serious accidents and encourage personal responsibility when choosing to ride a motorbike.

According to the WHO, one person dies every hour on average in a road accident in Vietnam. Motorbike accidents are the leading cause of death, severe injury, and the emergency evacuation of foreigners in Vietnam.

Many British Nationals visiting or living in Vietnam are not sufficiently prepared or equipped to ride motorbikes. Furthermore, road conditions differ significantly from those in the UK with many drivers failing to adhere to road traffic rules and patchy enforcement of traffic laws.

British Consul-General Ian Gibbons made his welcome speech and briefly introduced the campaign: “The Safe Motorbike Riding Campaign in Vietnam is one of the British Consular Team’s efforts to reduce the numbers of British citizens involved in accidents. This campaign is also an integral part of British Foreign & Commonwealth Office commitment to minimizing the risk to British Nationals overseas through reducing preventable incidents.”
Delivering his opening remarks, Asia Pacific Consular Regional Director Mr. John Fox stated “The road safety record for motorbike riders in Vietnam is alarming. The Consular team in Vietnam has seen an increase in the number of reported consular cases related to motorbike accidents over recent years, including a 61% increase in the total number of reported incidents from 2015 to 2017 (11 vs. 18 cases). Among these cases, 60% involved tourists; 80% were under the age of 35; and 1/3 of the affected persons were uninsured.”
At the event, Mr. Trevor Long and Mr. John Eric Bellew – two expatriate motorbike riders – shared their experiences of riding motorbikes in Vietnam. Participants also received safety advice from Dr. Le Phuoc Dai of Cho Ray Hospital, and FMP’s Dr. Bui Nghia Thinh. Mr. Tran Huu Minh from the National Traffic Safety Committee also provided the latest information on the Vietnamese government’s requirements for foreigners driving a motorbike in Vietnam and the minimum standards for motorbike helmets.

Dr. Thinh shared typical factors that have contributed to the severity of injuries sustained by bike-riding foreigners – such as helmet quality, speed, and driving under the influence – as well as information about what kinds of cases require medical evacuation and the consequences of inadequate medical insurance.

Dr. Thinh also emphasized the importance of having a legal motorbike driving license and proper medical insurance coverage, as an incident can be very costly – especially when a person involved in a serious accident needs to be medivaced.

Guests at the event were given a demonstration of helmet safety standards and learned how to recognize the features of a safe helmet.

More information about the campaign is available at the UK in Vietnam FaceBook page. #UKInVietnam #KnowSafetyNoAccidents