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Road safety policy planned

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
There were 1,691 traffic accidents affecting garment workers last year. KT/ Mai Vireak

The Labour Ministry is planning to launch a national policy to cut the number of traffic accidents involving garment workers being driven to and from factories.

The policy will encourage employers and drivers to prioritise road safety.

Labour Minister Ith Samheng yesterday addressed a workshop on the issue.

“We want to see employers and drivers in all factories doing more to assure the safety of workers,” he said.

“We also encourage factories to use safe vehicles for transporting staff. Many factories use second-hand trucks which are unsafe. They will get encouragement from the state to improve.”

“When groups of 20 or 30 garment workers travel on one truck, they face a high risk of traffic accidents,” he added.

Mr Samheng said the Special Economic Zone in Koh Kong had developed a good model of how to transport workers safely, and urged factory owners to follow their example.

Neb Sin Thaia, an officer for road safety charity the AIP Foundation, said the government’s policy for garment worker safety aimed to improve roads and infrastructure, increase vehicle safety, boost management oversight of the issue, and change garment worker behaviour.

“These strategies will help reduce traffic accidents affecting garment workers,” he said.

Chay Samnang, deputy policy officer for the National Social Security Fund, said there were 1,691 cases of traffic accidents involving garment workers during 11 months of 2017.

These accidents caused 33 deaths and 2,193 injuries.

This was less than the same period in 2016, during which 90 workers were killed and 6,328 injured.

Mr Samnang said 68 percent of traffic accidents involving garment workers were caused by the driver speeding, 15 percent by vehicle faults, and 10 percent by overtaking.

“Even though the number of deaths and injuries is down, workers still face risks,” he said.

Min Meanvey, secretary-general of the National Road Safety Committee, urged the government to strengthen requirements to obtain truck driving licences.

“Many truck drivers speed and overtake vehicles in risky situations. They need to be trained to drive safely, pass an exam to get their licence, and avoid driving drunk,” she said.

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