Phnom Penh’s public works and transport department has appealed to school principals to not allow students to enter school grounds if they did not wear helmets while travelling to school in order to help reduce traffic accidents.
Officials from the municipal public works and transport department yesterday went to promote the Traffic Law to students at Sisowath High School, following visits to nine other high schools in Phnom Penh last week.
Sam Piseth, director of the department, appealed to school principals to not allow students to come to school if they did not wear helmets while riding motorbikes there.
“We want to warn students to wear a helmet while travelling. If they do not wear a helmet, the school principal should not allow them to enter the premises,” he said. “We just want to educate them to protect themselves from traffic accidents that can affect their head.”
Mr Piseth said the visits were extremely important because they informed students about the importance of wearing a helmet.
“It is my idea to alert the students of the importance of wearing helmets. But this measure is an idea, and it could help to reduce traffic accidents in Cambodia,” he added.
Vuth Piseth, a student at Sisowath High School, agreed that students should wear a helmet while travelling.
“I think that they have good intentions. I think it’s not difficult to wear a helmet while travelling. Wearing one will help a lot in an accident,” he said.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the number of traffic accidents was still a big concern.
“Traffic accidents are a big headache. Some people still ride and drive in the wrong direction, especially on the road around Independence Monument. Nowadays, the number of people dead due to traffic accidents is much more than during the war period,” he said.
Ear Chariya, director of the Institute for Road Safety, said his NGO used to promote the idea of not allowing students to attend school if they showed up on a motorbike not wearing a helmet.
“I think it is good idea. Students riding motorbikes always get in through the school gate so the school should put a monitor there. If they are not wearing a helmet, they should not allow them to enter,” he said.
Sar Sreyda, a 37-year-old parent living in Phnom Penh, said that she always urges her children to join any forum at school pertaining to the Traffic Law.
“Students must learn about obeying the Traffic Law while in school. I think they will remember and obey the law when they have received education,” she said. “When my children ride a motorbike, I always remind them and make sure they wear helmets before leaving the house for school.”
According to an Interior Ministry report, 480 people were killed and 1,234 were injured in traffic accidents in the first three months of 2018, a decline from the same period in 2017 when 468 people died and 1,000 were injured.