More than 900 helmets donated to school on high-risk Cambodian national highway
Siem Reap, Cambodia –Helmets for Families today expanded its road safety education efforts to Kessararam Primary School in Siem Reap City and donated more than 900 helmets to the school community.
The project, which is supported by Manulife, celebrated the launch of its fifth year with a ceremony at the primary school, which is located along National Road N6, a high-risk and traffic-dense area in a province where only 22% of motorcycle passengers including children wear helmets. In addition to the helmet donation, the program provides students with education and activities, such as traffic simulations and road awareness training.
Nearly 1,000 students, parents, teachers, government officials and community members attended the event. Notable representatives included H.E Min Meanvy, Secretary of State of Public Works and Transport; H.E Kim Chhayheang, Deputy Governor of Siem Reap Province; Mr. Roy Gori, President and CEO of Manulife Asia, Mr. Robert Elliott, CEO and General Manager of Manulife Cambodia; and Pagna Kim, Cambodia Country Director of AIP Foundation.
“In 2015, more than 100 people died in traffic crashes in our province,” H.E. Kim Chhayheang, Deputy Governor of Siem Reap Province, said. “This is unacceptable and we hope that the Helmets for Families program will result in a safer roads for our community.”
“This is a pivotal time to promote road safety in our country because we began enforcing the mandatory passenger helmet law nationwide this year,” H.E. Min Meanvy, Secretary of State of Public Works and Transport, said. “Working with AIP Foundation and Manulife on this project is an important step toward reaching the sustainable development goal of halving road crash-related deaths by 2020 and saving 7,350 lives”.
Approximately 80% of students at Kessararam Primary School commute to school via motorcycle or bicycle. In 2014, a student at Kessararam Primary School was killed in a road crash, and over the past two years, four others have been injured.
Roy Gori, President and CEO of Manulife Asia, said that the company was proud to contribute to such a vital community project.
"We have been proud to support Helmets for Families since 2012 – and during that time, the program has contributed nearly 4,000 helmets to the Cambodian community,” Gori said. “This is a crucial program that makes an invaluable contribution to the local area – protecting our kids. On behalf of Manulife – and as a dad myself – we are honoured to support Helmets for Families.”
“Though Cambodia’s mandatory passenger helmet law went into effect at the start of this year, this legislation is not enforcing child helmet use,” Pagna Kim, Cambodia Country Director of AIP Foundation, said. “We have a long way to go, but providing road safety education and quality helmets for these students will help reduce the possibilities of death and serious injury in the event of a crash.”
There are more than 2,000 road crash-related deaths in the country annually. Motorized two- and three-wheelers, such as motorcycles, account for 83% of vehicles on Cambodia’s roads.