Two dozen garment workers were killed and nearly 1,000 others were injured in traffic accidents during the first half of this year, according to the National Social Security Fund.
In a report on Thursday, the NSSF said the figure is an increase when compared to the same period last year.
It said that from January until June, there were 766 accidents involving garment workers, resulting in 24 deaths and 944 injuries.
“Twenty cases involved lorries carrying workers to work, 705 involved motorbikes, six involved tuk-tuks, six involved bicycles and 29 cases involved pedestrians,” the NSSF said in its report.
It noted that in the same period last year, 815 traffic accidents involving garment workers occurred, causing the death of 16 and injuring 882 others.
NSSF director Ouk Samvithyea on Thursday during a meeting about the first half of this year, said NSSF officials have disseminated and educated about 7,800 garment workers 132 times, noting that 8,438 truck drivers received disseminated information and education 150 times.
Mr Samvithyea said the government is concerned about traffic accidents and that road safety is part of the government’s social and economic development initiatives.
“Collaboration between the Road Safety Working Group for Protecting Workers and relevant ministries and institutions allows officials to participate in promoting road safety for workers,” he said.
“In order to implement the plan to improve road safety for garment workers, the NSSF and relevant officials and partners have collaborated in order to disseminate the Law on Road Traffic and promote safe travel,” Mr Samvithyea said. “It is in order to contribute to the reduction of traffic accidents among garment workers.”
Far Saly, president of the National Trade Unions Coalition, yesterday said his union has been monitoring accidents involving garment workers.
“I have been monitoring since the beginning of the year,” Mr Saly said. “The situation is still bad and accidents happened more than last year’s [period]. We are concerned.”
He added that the Labour Ministry and stakeholders should take more action on providing education, and pay attention by examining licenses, testing for drug consumption in drivers, while police officials must facilitate trucks carrying garment workers in the morning and the evening.
Lieutenant General Sar Thet, chief of Phnom Penh police, yesterday said police officers will begin a campaign today to ensure road safety in the capital.
“Motorcyclists who do not wear helmets need to stop and wear a helmet,” Lt Gen Thet said. “It is so they are allowed to drive.”
“Tomorrow, as well,” he added. “The campaign will check for drugs and alcohol consumption among motorists and drivers of big trucks.”
Lt Gen Thet said anyone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be sent to a rehabilitation centre.