Road safety school groups inspire their community to be safer road users
Last month, 18 schools from Phnom Penh, Kandal, and Kampong Speu completed disseminating road safety messages as part of a “schools of excellence” competition to raise road safety awareness.
Throughout the year, school groups arranged road safety murals and distributed materials to help improve road safety behavior and their school’s surrounding infrastructure. To take part in the competition, students and teachers received road safety education training.
In August, an award committee, comprised of representatives from the National Road Safety Committee, National Police, Ministry of Education, and AIP Foundation evaluated the 18 schools. The committee reviewed relevant documents and interviewed teachers and students. Afterwards, the committee surveyed the area around the school to observe school murals, the surrounding infrastructure, and safety materials available for students to cross the road.
After gathering the necessary information, the committee will provide information to AIP Foundation to determine the outstanding school in each participating province and to track its progress the following year. Evaluating successful schools is important in developing improved implementation guidelines and to determine best practices in order to cultivate safe road environments for all students.
AIP Foundation gathers stakeholders from across Cambodia to discuss passenger helmet enforcement
AIP Foundation held its second nationwide stakeholder workshop as part of the “Head Safe. Helmet On.” project. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the enforcement of the passenger helmet law, especially to include children, scheduled to begin from January 1st, 2016.
The workshop gathered approximately 30 participants from government institutions and the private sector. Among the attendees were representatives of the General Secretariat of the National Road Safety Committee and of the Department of Order, Ministry of Interior. At the event, AIP Foundation presented information on the project’s recent progress, challenges faced thus far, and recommendations for the second year of the initiative.
Group discussions focused on the law and its sub-decree that mandates penalties for un-helmeted passengers, and particularly the importance of including children in the new traffic law. Also discussed were the national- and district-level passenger helmet enforcement action plans, which are currently in their draft phase.
AIP Foundation hosts second commune-wide meeting on road safety
Under the “Head Safe. Helmet On.” (HSHO) project, AIP Foundation organized a second commune-wide meeting which attracted 45 participants in Chba Ampov District, Phnom Penh. The participants included commune road safety groups from the three targeted communes, district governmental officials, and media representatives.
At the meeting, AIP Foundation reviewed commune-based activity plans and presented the progress, challenges, and recommendations for future HSHO activities. Chba Ampov’s District Governor attended and gave welcoming remarks to participants, delivering key messages for group discussion and highlighted the importance of promoting a better road safety environment.
Police visit students on International Children’s Day to emphasize safe road behaviors
Traffic police in Cambodia visited schools on June 1 to speak to students about road safety for International Children’s Day. Five police officers visited each of AIP Foundation’s 18 project schools under the “Head Safe. Helmet On.” project to discuss proper pedestrian and road user safety, including helmet use and the importance of wearing a helmet.
In total, 90 police officers visited students at schools over three weeks. “On this special day, we highlight the important value children have in our society as well as their vulnerability as road users. We are grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate to students how important their health and safety is,” said Mr. Ky Koun Cham Bak, School Principal.
In addition to motorcycle safety and correct helmet use, police officers instructed students on proper pedestrian and bicycle safety skills. Students and officers participated in a traffic safety simulation corner near schools to practice these skills in a safe environment.
International Children's Day is observed across the world to promote the welfare of children. “Children have the right to protection, health, and safety, including safety from road crashes. It is our duty to ensure the children understand how to stay safe when commuting on the roads and it is our responsibility to provide this education,” said Mr. Say Set, Samrong Torng District police.
Road safety education focuses on mothers and their children
AIP Foundation organized a second “Mothers and Helmet Use” forum at Anuk Wat Primary School. Mothers received information on their role in promoting road safety and encouraging helmet use among family members. The forum is a component of the Helmets for Families project sponsored by Manulife.
Mothers learned about the impacts of road crashes on society and their families, the relationship between helmet use and injury prevention, and received information about the new Road Traffic Law. Students also received this information at a police training on June 25. On June 19 and 26, volunteers reached the community surrounding the school to further spread road safety awareness. These additional activities helped to reinforce key messages to children and their families.
“This includes traveling on the roads. Our project engages mothers to ensure the entire family supports the life-saving benefits of wearing a helmet. We want mothers to remind their children to be safe on the roads, and children to do the same to their families,” said Mr. Pagna Kim, AIP Foundation Country Director in Cambodia. “We encourage every parent to obey the traffic law and always keep your children safe with a helmet.”
“I believe if every parent knew this essential information— that practicing safe road behaviors and wearing proper helmets can save lives—more children would have helmets on. We want to engage as many parents as possible to be role models for their children. Protect your children’s’ lives: parents, put a helmet on your child,” said said Mr. Hem Chalna Representative of Department of Order from Commissariat of National Police.
Mid-term assessment on behavior change campaign starts
AIP Foundation started a mid-term assessment to measure the effectiveness of its campaign to affect positive changes in the knowledge, attitude, and practice of motorcycle passengers across three target provinces in Cambodia – Kandal, Kampong Speu, and Phnom Penh. The behavior change assessment comes after one year of the “Head Safe. Helmet On.” project implementation and is scheduled to take place from the end of July to early September 2015. More than 400 respondents from the target provinces will participate in the assessment. Its findings will be used to inform the project’s second year and improve commercials and other communication materials.
United Nations Global Road Safety Week is an international initiative that features hundreds of events hosted by governments, international agencies, civil society organizations, and private companies to raise awareness of road safety. This year’s UN Global Road Safety Week took place from May 4th to 10th and was titled #SaveKidsLives, themed around “Children and Road Safety." #SaveKidsLives seeks to highlight the plight of children on the world’s roads, calls on leaders to take action, and advocates for the inclusion of road safety in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
AIP Foundation conducted a wide range of activities across Cambodia in celebration of UN Global Road Safety Week.
96 newly enrolled students received free helmets and road safety education on May 7th. The event took place at Sampov Meas Primary School and focused on raising students’ awareness of safe road behaviors while calling on authorities to commit to safer roads for children.
Cambodian students also signed the Child Declaration for Road Safety, a declaration that calls on decision-makers to commit to improving road safety for children. On May 7th, the Child Declaration was presented to the Secretary General of the National Road Safety Committee and Deputy Director of Central Department of Public Order from the National Police in Phnom Penh.
Lastly, AIP Foundation conducted street-based activities in six target districts under the “Head Safe. Helmet On.” project and in support of UN Global Road Safety Week. We engaged police and Commune Road Safety Committee members in each district to implement activities. Police stopped motorcyclists with un-helmeted passengers, and committee members educated passengers on the importance of helmet use and provided them with educational flyers. The project also provides subsidized helmets to motorcycle passengers who reside in target communes.
Road safety education and awareness raising is crucial for the protection of children and their families on the roads. With your support, we hope to create a generation of smart and safe road users in Cambodia. Let's work together to #SaveKidsLives.
New Road Traffic Law Passes in Cambodia
The Cambodian National Assembly has approved the new Road Traffic Law, in which motorcycle passengers—including children—are required to wear helmets. This is a milestone event after 8 years of collective efforts by many organizations, including AIP Foundation. When the draft law was about to ‘leave our children behind’ in 2011, we led an initiative that resulted in the inclusion of children in the draft passenger helmet mandate.
In response to research findings that 98% of the public was in support of a passenger helmet law, we then submitted a Joint Statement to the Minister of Transport in 2013 appealing for the law to be passed. In May 2014, we presented a study to the Government demonstrating that 561 lives could be saved, 10,572 head injuries prevented, and USD 98,618,422 could be saved by 2020, if the law was passed in 2014.
On January 9, 2015, Cambodia’s King Norodom Sihamoni signed off on a more robust traffic law, completing the final step for legislation. Passengers who are older than 3 years and riding on a motorcycle will now have to wear a helmet. The law also limits the number of people on a motorcycle to one driver, one adult passenger, and one child, and allows for fines of up to $1,000 for drink drivers.
Helmets Reach Thousands of Children in Phnom Penh, Kandal, and Kampong Speu Provinces
In December 2014, thousands of helmets were donated to primary students in support of passenger helmet use. Three large helmet handover ceremonies and 15 smaller handover events were organized at schools in Phnom Penh, Kandal, and Kampong Speu Provinces. The helmet handovers included information on proper helmet wearing and the importance of helmet use. The students were enthusiastic and pledged to wear helmets as part of their school uniform, regardless the time and the distance.
We organized a helmet donation of 6,652 helmets to students and teachers of six schools in Phnom Penh, with the support of USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (USAID-DIV) as part of the “Head Safe. Helmet On.” project. Michelle Yeoh, celebrity road safety ambassador, and Cambodian Government officials came together to support the donation.
In addition to Phnom Penh, helmet safety programs were expanded to six schools in Kandal Province and six schools in Kampong Speu Province, totaling 16,022 high-quality helmets donated across the three target provinces.
Thank you for your support in protecting Cambodian children from brain injury. Without your contributions, these recent achievements would not have been possible!
The number of road crash fatalities and injuries have dramatically surged in recent years due to rapid motorization. Road crashes in Cambodia kill nine times more people annually than malaria, dengue fever, HIV/AIDS, and landmines combined.
AIP Foundation’s “Head Safe. Helmet On.” project aims to stem the toll of road crashes by increasing passenger helmet use in Cambodia. This two-year project has three main components: provision of quality helmets and road safety education to school children and teachers; public awareness campaigns; and government advocacy for the passage and enforcement of the passenger helmet law. We have achieved great progress with "Head Safe. Helmet On." over the past three months.
Cambodian officials visit Hanoi helmet labs to deliberate building centers in Cambodia
This past October, AIP Foundation coordinated meetings in Hanoi between Cambodian and Vietnamese senior government officials. Officials discussed and shared best practices on road safety management, helmet quality standards, and helmet use enforcement. During this visit, Cambodian officials visited Protec, AIP Foundation’s non-profit helmet factory. The officials toured Protec’s helmet factory and testing laboratory in Hanoi as well as the Vietnamese government’s helmet testing center. Cambodian officials learned about the establishment and maintenance of helmet testing centers in Vietnam to determine the feasibility of building a similar facility in Cambodia. The Cambodian draft traffic law, which mandates helmet wearing for all motorcycle passengers, is expected to be enacted in 2015. A helmet laboratory in Cambodia would be imperative to increase helmet use across the country.
200 participants attend the National Assembly’s Parliamentary Consultative Workshop
On October 21st, the Ninth Commission of National Assembly held a Parliamentary Consultative Workshop on the “Law on Road Traffic” at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh. At the workshop, Mr. Kim Pagna, AIP Foundation’s Cambodia Country Director, presented the following study: “Cost and Life Savings Analysis if the Passenger Helmet Law is passed and enforced by 2014.” The plenary session of the workshop was attended by approximately 200 participants, including Members of Parliament, Senate, government and civil society representatives, and youth group affiliates. The workshop raised awareness of the draft road traffic law and the importance of road safety.
AIP Foundation hosts commune-wide meetings to deepen the discussion on the "Head Safe. Helmet On." project
AIP Foundation organized the first round of commune-wide meetings in the “Head Safe. Helmet On.” target districts from November 13th to 28th. Commune council members, commune secretaries, school teachers, commune police, and private sector partners attended the meetings. Commune representatives were introduced to and updated on the project, and began developing local road safety action plans which will improve passenger and child helmet behavior in their communities. The meetings aimed to establish a Commune-Based Road Safety Working Group in all 18 target communes, which will coordinate and implement activities on road safety and helmet use at the commune level.
Thank you for supporting the “Protect Cambodian Children from Brain Injury” project. Without your help, these achievements with "Head Safe. Helmet On." would not have been possible.
With your continued support, AIP Foundation can persevere towards reducing the detrimental, yet preventable number of head injuries and fatalities that plague Cambodian children. Please contact Chelsea Gaviola (Development Coordinator) from AIP Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas on how we can work together to boost awareness and attract more champions to this cause.
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