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|7% Project Presents: Helmet HeroesSave the Children Thailand’s new road safety initiative – Helmet Heroes – focuses on two main components, “School Heroes” and real life “Idols”.
Aimed at changing 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 will join forces with other “School Heroes” in their schools to lead activities that help raise awareness and change helmet wearing practices among students as well as those around them at home and within the community.
The program was initiated after the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) agreed to pilot the project in six of its schools after Save the Children, together with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation and representatives of schools in Bangkok, handed a petition to the BMA and asked them to support the innovative road safety scheme.
|With the success of the pilot, Save the Children aims to expand the project to 300 schools in Bangkok by early 2016.
After the success of the “7% Project Concert” in 2014, featuring K-Pop idol, Crayon Pop, an online and on air “Helmet Hero” campaign was launched in October 2015 with 11 public figures and celebrities encouraging people, in their own unique ways, to wear helmets. The videos 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.
Each “Idol” represented a different occupation, a different personality and a different way of life, but what they all have in common is that they all take road safety, especially helmet wearing, seriously.
So far the videos have reached over 200,000 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 idols 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.
About the 7% Project
Each day over 1.3 million children travel 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.
Sign the pledge and support our campaign to help make roads a safer place for children by ensuring all children wear helmets every time they travel as a passenger on a motorcycle.