top Subcribe email Subcribe email Subcribe email Connect to Twitter connect to Facebook

Protecting our Students with Safer School Zones and Communities


Dear Friends and Supporters,

When we send off our children and students to school each day, we look forward to their safe return after hours spent learning, engaging with friends, and exploring their curiosity in the world.

However, it is unfortunately the reality that many students leave their homes, but do not have the chance to return to the arms of their loved ones. In Vietnam, 2,150 children are lost each year to road crashes. This figure demonstrates that we are not doing enough for our young road users, whose lives may be cut short by a speeding truck driver who failed to slow down in a school zone or a distracted motorcyclist navigating a poorly-lit road in a student’s community. When we reflect on the number of road crash deaths affecting children, we cannot help but wonder what our world could have achieved had these young lives not been lost.

With the aim of securing a world in which our students can live up to their fullest potential, our team has spent the past two years in Pleiku City, Vietnam, carrying out a speed reduction pilot focused on school zones. We engaged with government stakeholders to advocate for reducing speed limits to 30 km/h in school zones, partnered with local traffic police to enforce safer behaviors near program schools, and installed road modifications in the areas demonstrating the most urgent need. Harnessing social media platforms, we launched a nationwide campaign to capture the attention of millions, reminding parents and community members of the importance of protecting our precious students’ lives.

These efforts have achieved clear and measurable impact: near our program schools, maximum speeds at both target schools were reduced by as much as 18-21 km/h. Our community surveys also found that the percentage of people in target school areas correctly identifying the current legal speed limit increased from 15.9% to 65.8% before and after our intervention.

When reflecting on these results, it is important to remember that when we successfully encourage drivers to slow down near school zones—whether through a carefully placed speed bump or an educational awareness campaign—we can make sure our children do return home safely at the end of the day. In turn, we secure a world where they can contribute their stories, their lives, and their achievements in pursuit of a better future for all.

Read more below with our main feature highlighting the achievements of our speed reduction program and on our other work to secure safer communities.

Kind regards,

Mirjam Sidik
CEO, AIP Foundation

Table of Contents

Safe School Zones Pilot Program in Vietnam Achieves Government Support and Engagement

Working to save lives in school zones with pilot in Pleiku City, Vietnam


Utilizing media to promote social change in Vietnam with Safety Delivered


Students reminded of life-saving road behaviors in Cambodia during International Children’s Day

Commuting Safety for Cambodian Workers (CSCW) to reach 30 factories over three-year period

Road Safety Working Groups established to advocate for safer commutes within Cambodian factories

Employment Opportunities
Want to join AIP Foundation’s team? View opportunities here.

Safe School Zones Pilot Program in Vietnam Achieves Government Support and Engagement

Photo of the Month: Working to save lives in school zones with pilot in Pleiku City, Vietnam
27 June, 2020 - Pleiku City, Vietnam

AIP Foundation recently concluded the first phase of its Slow Zones, Safe Zones speed reduction pilot program in Pleiku City, Vietnam. The program aimed to reduce speeds in school zones through comprehensive activities, ranging from road modifications to photo contests.

The two-year Slow Zones, Safe Zones speed reduction program in Gia Lai Province, Vietnam, supported by Fondation Botnar, the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), Nissan Motor Corporation, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and Kova Paint Company, officially concluded its first phase.

In partnership with the local government in Gia Lai Province, AIP Foundation held a closing ceremony to share the program’s first phase results and its achievements in speed reduction and school zone safety. Over the past two years, the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program has supported the construction of tailored school-zone modifications; the design and implementation of public awareness campaigns to promote positive road user behaviors, paired with increased law enforcement; the development and testing of a nationally-applicable road safety e-curriculum; and advocacy to governments to support and scale program activities.

AIP Foundation CEO, Mirjam Sidik, joins Gia Lai Traffic Safety Committee representative successfully sign an MOU for the second phase of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program.

The successful closing event garnered the participation of about 200 people, including Mr. Khuất Việt Hùng, the Vice President of National Traffic Safety Committee, Mrs. Kiều Thị Diễm, the Deputy Director of the Department of Traffic Safety of the Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Bùi Văn Linh, Director of Department of Political Education and Student Work of the Ministry of Education and Training, representatives of Gia Lai provincial government, and school administrators and parents from Pleiku City.

The ceremony began with a photo exhibition of the recent “Preserve Your Children’s Happiest Moments” photo contest, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the importance of child safety on the road that reached more than 9 million people and received almost 2,000 photo submissions.

Following the exhibition, AIP Foundation shared noteworthy speed reduction results from the two-year pilot program. Slow Zones, Safe Zones constructed tailored, comprehensive school zone safety modifications including speed bumps, road markings, speed reduction signs, and sidewalks, in response to dangers on Pleiku roads.

The first prize photo submitted to the Slow Zones, Safe Zones photo contest titled, “Preserve Your Children’s Happiest Moments”

At target schools, traffic volume is extremely high. Before our intervention, some vehicles were driving as fast as 70-80 km/h, well over the international recommended speed for school zones, which is 30 km/h. The safety modifications were validated by scientific assessments like the Star Rating for Schools (SR4S) App, which determined that both pilot schools successfully increased their safety rating to 5 stars. Speed reduction results were comparably significant, with maximum speed at both target schools reduced by as much as 18-21 km/h.

“There are many contributing factors to Vietnam’s road safety crisis, but when 25% of road crashes are caused by speeding, even small speed reductions can lower the likelihood of serious injury or death. We are extremely happy with the initial results of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program. We hope that the safe school zone model in Pleiku City can be expanded and applied to create more safe schools in different cities throughout our country.” said Dr. Khuat Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee.

Among self-report student road crashes, the rate of crashes near target schools decreased from 34.1% to 30.4%. Additionally, according to community surveys, the percentage of people who correctly identified the current speed limit in the target school areas increased from 15.9% before intervention to 65.8% afterward.

The second phase of Slow Zones, Safe Zones, will take place between July 2020-March 2022, building upon the program’s commitment to educating children and community members of the dangers of speeding, as well as focus on legislative change by increasing collaboration with local government and police enforcement.

“Today in Vietnam, there is little or no recognition of school zones and the need to create safer environments for children who use them, let alone a standard school zone definition. Through community input and government support, Slow Zones, Safe Zones, will advocate for policy change in the second phase to establish a first-ever legal school zone definition for Pleiku City creating a framework for the future design and safety renovations to school zones,” said Raoul Powlowski, of the Global Road Safety Partnership.

At the end of the event, AIP Foundation and the Gia Lai Traffic Safety Committee successfully signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the program’s second phase, and leaders expressed their support and commitment for the continued partnership.

View photos from the closing event here.

Dr. Vu Anh Tuan, Director of the Transportation Research Center of Vietnam German University, shares his expertise on school zone safety with government leaders.

Building Government Capacity to Promote Sustainable Road Safety Change

In the lead-up to the closing event, AIP Foundation also collaborated with the Gia Lai Traffic Safety Committee to organize a technical capacity-building for the Technical and Strategic Steering Committee (TSSC) in Gia Lai, Vietnam to advocate for provincial road safety changes. The TSSC members include leaders of the Gia Lai Traffic Safety Committee, Department of Education and Training, Pleiku City People’s Committee, Pleiku Police, and two certified road safety auditors.

Dr. Vu Anh Tuan, Director of the Transportation Research Center of Vietnam German University and Mr. Le Van Thanh, Specialist of the Traffic Safety Unit from the Ministry of Transportation in Vietnam, were present as trainers. Through their expertise, the TSSC members learned about components of a “safe school zone”, the role of both the public and private sector actors in working together to create those school zones, and the work of improving road safety for children through a review of international best practices in school zone design and establishment. Members got the chance to hear literature and research on what school zone definitions generally look like and how they are used, in order to inform the TSSC’s “working definition” of a school zone.

Based on the lessons, the TSSC members will be able to draft a standard school zone definition that will apply to both new schools and existing schools that are currently undergoing modifications. This draft will be submitted to the Pleiku People’s Committee for the passage of a city-wide law that can apply to all schools in Pleiku and mandate lower driving speeds near school zones. Through collaboration with government officials to publicize Pleiku People’s Committee’s passage of the school zone definition decision, AIP Foundation will play an instrumental role in the advocacy of provincial road safety legislation.

View photos from the training workshop here.

Back to top


Utilizing media to promote social change in Vietnam with Safety Delivered
11-30 June, 2020 – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Thai Nguyen Province

One of the top winning family photos of the Safety Delivered photo contest features a student from a program school with her mother. The photo contest aims to promote awareness around helmet use for the Safety Delivered program.

Safety Delivered, a program implemented by AIP Foundation and supported by The UPS Foundation launched a series of innovative multimedia campaigns, including billboard installations, photo contests, and public service announcements, across primary schools and hospitals in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Thai Nguyen, Vietnam to raise awareness of the importance of helmet use.

The photo contests occurred at 18 target schools throughout the month of June and encouraged students to develop ideas for photos among their classmates, as well as the volunteers with their family members, giving students the opportunity to think critically about road safety in a collaborative way.

With the support and guidance of Ho Chi Minh City and Thai Nguyen Traffic Safety Committee and Departments of Education and Training, Safety Delivered will also install 573 billboards at 360 primary school gates in Ho Chi Minh City and at 220 schools in Thai Nguyen, reminding parents that both they and their children must wear a helmet when riding to school, and will reiterate the dangers of non helmet-use whenever riding a motorcycle or bicycle at all times.

“We have seen that behavior change begins with families, so we are very glad to support the billboard installations to remind parents and the community of their role as crucial role models to help their children practice safer road behaviors,” said Mr. Tan Hoang Long, Chief Secretariat of the Thai Nguyen Province Traffic Safety Committee.

The third component of the multimedia campaigns involves the airing of AIP Foundation’s public service announcement, “Love your child, provide a helmet,” a moving video of a child on a motorcycle with her parents while not wearing a helmet. The public service announcement will continue to be aired at Cho Ray and Nhi Dong II national hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Duc national hospital in Hanoi, and a provincial hospital in Thai Nguyen. At Cho Ray and Nhi Dong II national hospitals, the public service announcement will be aired over 900 times per day from April to November 2020, reaching patients, their relatives, and hospital staff.

At target schools in Ho Chi Minh City, the pre-observation helmet-wearing rate of students was just 23%. Following intervention, the rate increased to 77%. In Thai Nguyen, the pre-intervention helmet-wearing rate was 27% and increased to 80% post-intervention. Through Safety Delivered, 10,942 total helmets will be distributed across Vietnam during the 2019 - 2020 school year to students, teachers, parents, victims of road crashes, and their families.

Back to top


Students reminded of life-saving road behaviors in Cambodia during International Children’s Day
1 June, 2020 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Children reading banners with road crash prevention messages in front of primary school in Phnom Penh.

In celebration of International Children’s Day, AIP Foundation hung banners with messages reminding students of life-saving behaviors, such as helmet-wearing, in front of school gates at four primary schools in Phnom Penh. The banners also featured messages directed towards parents about the dangers of speeding and distracted driving.

These awareness-raising activities follow donations of nearly 2,000 helmets to students and teachers at Chey Chumneas, Chbar Ampov 2, Hangor Sraschok, and Kean Kleang Primary School, in December 2019 and January 2020. Through the helmet distributions, average helmet use rates significantly increased across the schools, from nearly zero to 58 percent.

Back to top

Commuting Safety for Cambodian Workers to reach 30 factories over three-year period
1 June, 2020 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The CSCW program builds upon the framework of the Garment and Footwear Factory Pilot Program and the ongoing efforts of the government. It aims to strengthen linkages and collaboration between stakeholders to increase joint actions and advocacy to improve commuting safety.

Over a three-year period from 2019 to 2022, 30 factories in high-risk provinces, in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Speu, and other high-risk provinces in Cambodia will be targeted with road safety policy advocacy campaigns and the formation of road safety working groups to increase awareness of the importance of commuting safety through the Commuting Safety for Cambodian Workers (CSCW) program. The CSCW program is implemented by AIP Foundation and the Solidarity Center and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In 2019, road crashes involving garment and footwear factory workers accounted for over 53% of the total commuting workers involved in road crashes. A survey of workers and collective transport drivers at 5 factories conducted by AIP Foundation found that over 90% of people were fearful of other drivers causing road crashes, and 28% of workers were concerned about vehicle overloading. To address these troubling statistics, the CSCW program will educate collective transport drivers about safe driving behaviors and safer modes of transport, encourage workers to avoid overloaded and unseated vehicles, and create safer road users through awareness-raising and trainings.

The program will target factories located in higher crash-risk areas, near national roads, or with a history of recent crash cases among workers. By establishing and training road safety working groups, developing and implementing transport safety policies and guidelines, and creating “speak up” awareness and advocacy campaigns that utilize social media to encourage workers to raise their concerns to leadership about commuting safety, the program seeks to contribute to a safer commuting culture within factories.

Through advocating for evidence-based policy change and the adoption of safer transport options, as well as infrastructure improvements, more workers will be ultimately able to safely access economic opportunities without the risk of injury, disability, or death.

Road crashes also do not only impact the lives of workers, but also the lives of the 2 million family members they support, and the productivity of factories which rely on their labor. A survey of 233 factories in Cambodia found that a total of 7,619 days were lost due to crashes over a 12-month period in 2016.

To learn more about the program, read the full Press Release here.

Back to top

Road Safety Working Groups established to advocate for safer commutes within Cambodian factories
May - June, 2020 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

AIP Foundation Cambodia team meets with stakeholders in Phnom Penh to discuss plans for the Commuting Safety for Cambodian Workers program.

In the months of May and June, AIP Foundation Cambodia held solution-oriented meetings with government stakeholders, civil society organizations, and factory worker trade union representatives, to raise awareness of issues facing garment and factory workers during their daily commutes and present program objectives for the first year of the three-year Commuting Safety for Cambodian Workers program which will reach 30 factories, cumulatively.

As part of the program's first year of implementation, AIP Foundation selected six target factories, located across Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Speu and Svay Rieng Province. Factories were selected based on priority criteria, including being located in high-risk crash areas, on or near national roads, or having a recent history of many crash cases.

On 30 June, AIP Foundation held a virtual call with 35 representatives from the six factories to discuss the establishment of Road Safety Working Groups in each factory that will serve as employee models and advocates for safer roads. These groups will be comprised of representatives from the trade unions and teams within various departments of the factories, including human resources, security, occupational safety and health, and factory management. Each working group will consist of 10-15 members who will be responsible for raising awareness and taking action to prevent and protect workers from issues they face during their commutes.

The kick-off meeting follows a series of planning sessions that took place in May and early June, in which AIP Foundation met with senior representatives from the Commissariat of the National Police, the National Social Security Fund, and presidents from three worker trade unions. Trade union members shared with AIP Foundation possible solutions and ideas to expand road crash prevention education and intervention in the factories.

Back to top