Students encouraged to wear motorcycle helmets as part of school uniforms
9 March, 2017 – Siem Reap Province, CambodiaNearly 550 primary school students received quality helmets and were encouraged to wear them as part of their school uniforms during the kick-off ceremony for a new Helmets for Kids program, which is supported by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB).
The road safety initiative aims to make young road users attending Anuk Wat Koruk Kosal Primary School in Siem Reap, role models in their community. The students, along with their teachers, also participated in educational activities during the event.
“About one year ago, we began enforcement of the mandatory passenger helmet law nationwide,” H.E.Sang Riha, Deputy Governor of Siem Reap Province, said. “Since then, we have seen a dramatic increase in safe road behaviors nationwide. It’s programs like Helmets for Kids, which complement our robust law enforcement efforts, that inspire us to continue pushing toward our goal of halving Cambodia’s road crash deaths by 2020.”
Over the course of the program, ARRB will donate more than 560 helmets to members of the Anuk Wat Koruk Kosal Primary School community. The Australian organization, which provides research services in the road and transport industries, began collaborating with AIP Foundation in 2012. It has also supported schools in Viet Nam and Thailand. Recently, it assisted in developing and implementing road treatments in communities served by the nonprofit’s pedestrian safety program in China.
“We’re thrilled to reignite this partnership with AIP Foundation in Cambodia,” Mr. Paul Hillier, one of ARRB’s National Technical Leaders said. “They have been instrumental in making Cambodia’s roads safe for all and we appreciate its evidence-based approach to promoting long-lasting behavior changes among at-risk population. From a personal perspective I have three school aged children and it is easy to relate to such a worthwhile and important program ”
Anuk Wat Koruk Kosal Primary School is located on a busy highway in Siem Reap Province. In 2015, one student passed away due to a road crash. The student was not wearing a helmet and suffered a fatal head injury during a motorcycle crash while his father was driving him home from school. Currently, 80% of students commute to school by motorcycles and bicycles though only about 1% wear helmets.
“In the event of a road crash, wearing a helmet reduces the risk of death by 42% and injury by 69%. It’s imperative that every single motorcycle driver and passenger wears a helmet, and we hope this program will instill good habits in some of Siem Reap’s youngest road users,” Pagna Kim, Cambodia Country Director of AIP Foundation, said.