Demanding Streets for Life:

From art in the school yard to the reality of a new speed limit

16:30 | 14/03/2022 Society

The #Love30 campaign - at the heart of the United Nations Road Safety action - advocates for streets for life where people live, work, and play by making 30 km/h (20mph) speed limits the norm for cities worldwide. Not only does a speed limit in urban areas prioritize the well-being of children and youth, but it also creates safe, healthy, green cities.

Less than a year ago, students across Pleiku City gathered to celebrate the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week (UNGRSW). The UNGRSW is an opportunity for the world to call on policymakers at local and national levels around the globe to act for low-speed streets to enhance road safety on every street.

from art in the school yard to the reality of a new speed limit

To celebrate this special theme in 2021, students and teachers at Vo Thi Sau school participated in a drawing contest to illustrate ‘my safe road to school’. Today, those illustrations became a reality as the Gia Lai Provincial People's Committee regulation reducing speed in school zones to 30-40 km/h in Pleiku City came into force.

Similarly, Vietnam’s National Road Safety Strategy supports meeting the goals of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development as part of the Global Plan, ensuring maximum traffic safety for school zones. Pleiku City is the first city in Vietnam to apply speed limits of 30-40 km/h for school zones. This highlights the commitment of the Government and the international community in impacting lasting change creating streets for life.

Our steadfast partner on this road to change, the Pleiku Police Department has been carrying out an action plan to enforce these new speed limits across school zones. The next enforcement of the new regulation is currently taking place from Monday 15 February to 31 March 2022, during rush hours in the morning and afternoon. This enforcement is being combined with public service announcements aimed to improve road users’ behavior on speed reduction when passing school zones.

In order to inform and raise awareness for the local community about new speed limits and modifications for primary schools, a Public Awareness Campaign was carried out in Pleiku City . More than 26,000 flyers were distributed to all primary schools in Pleiku City. 60 vertical billboards were installed on both sides of the road, 200m away from the school gate at 30 school sites. In addition, 31 horizontal billboards were installed in front of school gates as well.

Students now have the safe road to school that they drew, just a few months ago. Until now, the school zone modifications were completed at 31 program schools. The modifications include new pedestrian crossings, new pavements, steel railings to separate the footpath and the parking area for parents as well as road signs marking the speed limits and school zones.

Mr. Kim Beng Lua, GRSP Senior Officer, shared, “WHO has published the [Global Plan] for the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety. The Plan highlights the importance of including safe and integrated sustainable multimodal transport and youth engagement as well as safe road infrastructure. GRSP has been working with AIP Foundation to make lower speed limits a reality in Pleiku.”

For all students across Pleiku City, the speed limits will not only safeguard them on their commutes to school but will also ensure that all students have safe and equal access to their education. The reduced speed limits improve road safety immensely in Pleiku while increasingly encouraging families to walk and ride their bicycles to school, paving the way for healthier and greener cities.

“The implementation of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program in Pleiku is our local program with a global message where we unite to demand safe streets for life. These results today, show in practice how 30 km/h speed limits worldwide will bring us closer to our vision of a world where all neighborhood streets are livable, safe and sustainable,” shared Mirjam Sidik, Chief Executive Officer at AIP Foundation.

As a scale-up of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program in Pleiku City, AIP Foundation signed a national partnership framework with the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam. The goal is to develop a Safe School Zones Vietnam guide that will be implemented nationwide, demonstrating our commitment to protecting children on the roads and making Pleiku City a model city for safe school zones across all of Vietnam.

SH