When Mr Craft first arrived in Viet Nam in 1989, he saw a country on the cusp of enormous change – and a place where, as the standard of living and use of motorized vehicles increased, young people were dying or suffering severe injuries on the roads every day. In 1999, Mr Craft established the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP Foundation) to address this terrible crisis on Viet Nam’s roads. He initially chose to focus his efforts on promoting widespread helmet use as a habit for drivers in Viet Nam. He worked with a team of international specialists and designers to introduce the world’s first “tropical” helmet, a lightweight, low-cost motorcycle helmet appropriate to warm and wet climates like Viet Nam.
The tropical helmet was designed to provide adequate protection for riders without being too hot or heavy. The introduction of the tropical helmet was one of the first steps in what would become a cultural movement to stop the needless deaths on the roads in Viet Nam. In 2001, Greig established AIP Foundation’s social enterprise helmet factory, Protec, which soon made a name for itself as a producer of affordable, climate-appropriate helmets.
Mr Craft continues to expand his focus to other road safety issues such as pedestrian safety, preventing speeding, driving skills, safe school zones, and industrial worker education. This valuable work has not gone unrecognized. In 2011, twelve years after establishing the AIP Foundation, Mr Craft was awarded Viet Nam’s Presidential Order of Friendship – the highest civilian honor given to foreigners. The award recognized his contributions to improving road safety through establishing the AIP Foundation and Protec, supporting the universal helmet law, and engaging international expertise and coordinating with the government to develop an appropriate standard for Vietnamese helmets.