Cambodia and South Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on “Strengthening and Improving Road Safety in School Areas of Cambodia”.

The agreement, which aims to reduce deaths and serious injuries in traffic accidents, and to raise awareness, was inked on November 21.

The MoU was signed by Min Manvy, secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, and Huh Eok, a representative of South Korea’s Gachon University.

Huh said the highest levels of road safety should be upheld in areas in the vicinity of schools, while accidents involving children must be reduced as much as possible.

The strengthening of traffic safety in school areas was not to be overlooked, he added, with road safety education beginning at the elementary level.

Manvy, who is also secretary-general of the National Road Safety Committee, said the Cambodian government has made efforts to prevent fatalities and serious injuries due to road accidents as part of the country’s development.

“The support of NGOs and private institutions is an important contribution to the Royal Government in its efforts to strengthen traffic safety in Cambodia,” she said.

She expressed strong confidence in the project’s capacity to contribute to reducing traffic accidents and improve the behaviour of road users, particularly in the vicinity of schools.

This project was to be sustainable and to further develop after the signing of the MoU, which is valid for five years until November 20, 2027, she added.

According to a report by the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC), traffic accidents increased in the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2021.

The number of traffic accidents rose by 348, or 28 per cent, with the number of deaths increasing by 233, or 33 per cent. The number of injured jumped by 433, or 25 per cent.

Of the 759 motorcyclists killed – 81 per cent of the total – 558, or 74 per cent, were not wearing crash helmets, with most killed at night while not wearing helmets. Fifty-seven per cent of all accidents at night resulted in 58 per cent of fatalities and 54 per cent of injuries.