November 12, 2018, Preah Sihanouk Province, Cambodia – With the support of Manulife, Helmets for Families donated more than 1,000 helmets to students, teachers and parents at Hun Sen Krong Primary School in Preah Sihanouk District. Training workshops were also held for more than 100 parents to promote helmet use. Helmets for Families focused on engaging parents - especially mothers - as role models in child helmet use.
The event was attended by senior representatives from the General Secretariat of National Road Safety Committee, Deputy Governor of Preah Sihanouk Province, road safety stakeholders, development partners, private sector partners, parents, students, staff and administration team of Hun Sen Krong Primary School, members of the press, Management team and staff of Manulife Cambodia, and AIP Foundation staff.
Even though 75% of road fatalities in Cambodia during 2017 were motorcyclists, at the time of crash, only 27% of adult motorcyclists and 8% of child passengers were wearing a helmet. These injuries and deaths are easily preventable through use of helmets.
Appropriate helmet use reduces risk of head injury by 69% and risk of fatality by 42%. Helmets for Families tackles the problem by working with parents – who are the decision makers and role models in children’s lives. Parents are the primary decision makers in purchasing helmets for their children 85% of the time and remind children 78% of the time to wear helmets when riding motorcycles.
"There is a positive correlation between parents’ knowledge of proper helmet use and children’s knowledge of proper helmet use,” said H.E Min Meanvy, Secretary of State, Ministry of Public Works and Transport and Secretary General of the National Road Safety Committee. “The government fully supports any efforts to promote road safety awareness, particularly helmet use among students in order to reduce and prevent road crash deaths and injuries.”
H.E Cheav Vichheak, Deputy Governor of Preah Sihanouk Province said "Our province has a growing number of road users and subsequent road crashes. Many of these victims are children. We have committed to reduce the number road crashes by supporting collaborations by the NGO and private sector, which focus on addressing the problem of child road safety at its core."
Mr. Robert Elliott, CEO and General Manager of Manulife Cambodia said, “We are committed to working with AIP Foundation and the Cambodian government to provide a better future for families within the communities that we serve. Since 2012, Helmets for Families has delivered road safety education and skills to more than 4,000 students and almost 8,000 parents. Through this education, we have enabled thousands of families to make safer choices and build safer communities.”
“Hun Sen Krong Primary School was selected because of its location in a high-risk and traffic dense area in a province where 90% of children travel as motorcycle passengers and bicycle riders,” said Mr. Pagna Kim, Cambodia Country Director of AIP Foundation. “In the past school years, one student died and at least seven students and teachers were involved in road crashes. Helmets for Families will provide quality helmets and road safety training for those in the community that are most vulnerable.”
Helmets for Families will operate in Preah Sihanouk Province through 2018 and 2019 academic year. Road deaths have increased by 10% in the province since 2017, making it the eleventh highest province for road crashes. AIP Foundation’s goal is to continue increase awareness about the importance of helmet use for all in Preah Sihanouk Province.