A motorcycle is considered the family car in Cambodia. In 2012, road traffic crashes caused nearly 2,000 deaths and 14,000 injuries, costing the nation approximately 329 million USD, nearly 3 percent of its GDP. 68 percent of traffic fatalities in 2012 were motorcyclists, 66 percent of whom suffered head injuries. Although motorcycle drivers are required by law to wear helmets, no helmet law exists for passengers. Only nine percent of passengers, including children, wear helmets.
Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and death by 42 percent in a crash. However, just donating helmets does not necessarily instill proper helmet wearing habits. That is why this project also trains teachers and students in safe road behavior as well as raises awareness about road safety among the entire school community. By essentially making helmets part of the school uniform, many precious lives can be saved.
Cambodian children will be empowered to be safer, smarter road users who understand the importance of helmet use and road safety. These children will become role models in their schools and communities. The project will also encourage schools to establish road safety norms where all students must wear helmets on motorcycles or bicycles. In addition, the wider community will benefit from road safety awareness raising activities and carry safe road habits far beyond the duration of the project.
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