Cambodian communes awarded for tackling low helmet use rates
15 June, 2016 – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
AIP Foundation, in partnership with The UPS Foundation, has awarded top prizes to three communes in the “Commune of Excellence in Helmet Use” competition, which launched at the end of January to encourage broader support for helmet use in the three target provinces of Kampong Speu, Kandal, and Phnom Penh as part of the two-year project Head Safe. Helmet On. Today’s awards ceremony announced that the winners were Vorsor and Trapaingkong Communes in the Samrong Tong District of Kampong Speu Province and Prek Eng Commune in the Chba Ampov District of Phnom Penh Province.
Around 70 people were in attendance at the ceremony, among them H.E. Min Meanvy, Secretary of State of Transportation and Secretary General of the National Road Safety Committee, and H.E. Leng Vy, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior. These senior officials were joined by representatives of the 18 communes involved in the competition as well as provincial- and district-level representatives, members of the competition’s evaluation working group, and media.
The award-winning communes were chosen because they fulfilled key selection criteria, including but not limited to: having an active, well-functioning road safety working group; drafting an annual plan to improve motorcycle passenger helmet use; independently organizing commune-wide, objective-oriented activities centered around road safety; providing comprehensive reporting and photo documentation of all relevant activities; planning to develop their working group’s capacity; sustaining their working group’s activities; and seeking the possibility to secure annual commune budget allocations for road safety activities. An additional metric used was the extent to which motorcycle passenger helmet-wearing rates increased in the communes after these implementations.
“Helmet wearing rates are improving slowly. But even though enforcement of the new Road Traffic Law began in January 2016, many people, especially young children, are still dying on our roads. This demands all of us to cooperate more firmly and make helmet wearing a national duty,” said H.E. Min Meanvy, Secretary of State of Transportation and Secretary General of the National Road Safety Committee.
“In order to change the culture of our motorcyclists on the road, and make sure the people of our country are aware of the risks inherent in driving unprotected, administration at all levels must be dedicated to this issue. This competition worked toward this aim by enabling officials at the commune level to improve their local communities,” said H.E. Leng Vy, Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Interior.
“These communes have truly distinguished themselves in recent months, which is exactly what we were hoping to see with this competition. There is still a long way to go in changing road habits, but the efforts these communes have put in have been truly impressive,” said Pagna Kim, Cambodia Country Director at AIP Foundation.