Pedaling towards a greener future: Celebrating the Community Bike Day in Pleiku City, Vietnam

PLEIKU CITY, Vietnam – April 16, 2023

Today, AIP Foundation is joining hands with the National Traffic Safety Committee, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Gia Lai Traffic Safety Committee and the Pleiku’s People Committee to host a Community Bike Day 2023, in Pleiku, Vietnam. The event is part of Slow Zones, Safe Zones, a local program with global recognition. In its 5th year, the program is increasingly encouraging students and their families to use sustainable means of transport – paving the way for healthier and greener cities as well as promoting safe and sustainable mobility. This also aligns with Vietnam’s National Green Growth Strategy 2021-2030.

The Community Bike Day will kick-start safe and sustainable mobility-promoting activities, leading to the 7th UN Global Road Safety Week 2023 in May. This year, the global campaign, under the theme of #RethinkMobility, focuses on sustainable transport, in particular, the need to shift to cycling, walking, and using public transport. The ultimate goal is to ensure that safer modes of transportation, such as biking and walking, are made safe and accessible so that they can be used as a healthy alternative. This Community Bike Day brings together over 1000 community members to speak up on safe mobility and take action for greener streets across their city.

“It is very exciting to see the development of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program in Pleiku leading to the empowerment of youth across the city. Youth are the future and our most important priority is to protect them. Today marks an important milestone in pushing toward safer and more sustainable mobility modes in central Vietnam,” shares Kim Beng Lua, Senior Officer, Road Safety Projects at the Global Road Safety Partnership.

Community Bike day: A new path for a healthier future

In December 2022, as part of Slow Zones, Safe Zones, AIP Foundation launched the ‘Bike to school’ campaign providing 85 new bicycles for low-income students to be able to bike to and from school. Today, an additional 50 bicycles will be handed over to students from underrepresented communities. The bicycles have been donated by individual supporters and corporate donors.

Since the beginning of 2023, AIP Foundation has been hosting bicycle safety training sessions across 19 project schools in Pleiku City to equip 18,117 students with knowledge on safe cycling practices. Furthermore, a public awareness ‘Bike Marathon’ campaign was organized to encourage students to bike to school. Pre- and post-intervention evaluations showed that students’ positive attitudes toward cycling increased from 24% to 65%. The number of students with excellent and good scores on cycling safety grew from less than 72% to more than 84%. These activities represent the start of effective mind shifts and long-term changes for sustainable social impact not only across the schools but the wider community.

Building on the momentum of this shift towards a more sustainable future, members of the community across Pleiku City will gather today to celebrate the success. A bike parade will be held to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable modes of transport. An award ceremony will take place to hand out the prizes to the winners of the bike marathon and a photovoice competition, activities that have been taking place since March to give students and participants an opportunity to raise their voices for safe mobility.
“The Pleiku People’s Committee is very proud to host this Community Bike Day. Our community is made up of the people within it and we must all work together to protect our planet. This is our shared home and today is an opportunity to bring about change for a greener and cleaner future,” shares Mr Do Viet Hung, Chairman of Pleiku People’s Committee.

Global Recognition: the lasting legacy of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program

The overall purpose of the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program is to reduce road crash injuries and fatalities in school zones. Our work has demonstrated that the students’ journeys to and from school become safer through implementation of traffic calming measures, the reduction of posted speed limits in school zones, the application of interactive learning through an e-curriculum, and public awareness campaigns combined with the enforcement of new posted speed limits.

In recognition of the collaborative efforts for the Slow Zones, Safe Zones program, the Prince Michael International Road Traffic Safety Award 2020 was presented to the National Traffic Safety Committee and the Ministry of Education and Training. The International Vision Zero for Youth Leadership Award 2022 was presented to the Gia Lai Province People’s Committee and Pleiku City People’s Committee.
International partners for a healthier tomorrow

The Slow Zones, Safe Zones program, which aims to improve the safety of students’ journeys to and from schools, is supported by Fondation Botnar, the Global Road Safety Partnership, and the International Road Assessment Programme, and aligns with the Global Plan of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030. Similarly, Vietnam’s current National Road Safety Strategy supports meeting the goals of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, ensuring maximum traffic safety for school zones around the country.

“Pleiku City has long been the home of our Slow Zones, Safe Zones program. Following the program’s successes, including the installation of 30km/h speed limits during students’ pick-up and drop-off times, we are proud to expand the program to include healthy transportation alternatives that bring Pleiku closer to being a walkable city”, shares Mirjam Sidik, CEO of AIP Foundation.

Useful links:

– To read the Press Release, please click here.
– To see more photos from the event, please click here.

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