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New Helmet Manual

28 January 2007

The World Health Organization (WHO) is intensifying efforts to support governments, particularly those in low-income and middle-income countries, to increase helmet use through a new publication, Helmets: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners.

This new manual provides technical advice to governments on the steps needed to assess current helmet use, and then design, implement and evaluate a helmet use programme. The manual addresses specific issues pertinent to many low-income and middle-income countries, such as:

  • What can be done to protect the large number of children who ride as passengers on their parents' motorcycles?
  • Are there financial disincentives in place that make helmets unaffordable and thus reduce their use, for example, sales tax, or import duties that could be removed by governments in efforts to increase helmet use?
  • How can enforcement be consistent and effective when resources are constrained? Should countries aim to implement a comprehensive helmet law, or is it more appropriate to phase in a law, in order to allow the traffic police to manage the new responsibility?

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