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Youth trained in road safety

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A student joins the event wearing a T-shirt with the message: ‘Using phones while driving can cause traffic accidents’. Heng Chivoan

Youth trained in road safety

ASIA Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, with support from the National Road Safety Committee and relevant ministries, on Tuesday led a three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) programme in the capital to educate university students about traffic accidents and how to avoid danger on the roads.

The programme comes as statistics from Cambodia’s nationwide road crash surveillance system, the Road Crash and Victim Information System, revealed that traffic accidents had killed an average of five people per day, 45 per cent of whom were aged between 15 and 29.

A press release from the AIP Foundation on building a culture of road safety leadership for youths was issed at a workshop which focused on making road safety a shared responsibility.

“To educate and empower university students to become passionate road safety advocates with the skills and knowledge to inspire their peers on the importance of road safety, AIP Foundation has led an informative three-day Training of Trainers programme in Phnom on the importance of safe road behaviour,” the press release said.

The workshop will educate 30 youths from 30 universities, who will act as road safety leads. They will be in charge of the dissemination of information regarding traffic accident awareness and safe road behaviour. It is hoped that they will continue to educate university students on the importance of improving the driving the youth’s behaviour.

“The training workshop leverages a peer-to-peer education model and trains students to serve as positive road safety role models on their campuses and in their communities, thereby enabling them to train other peers on safe road behaviour,” it said.

AIP Foundation country director Kim Pagna said the workshop also provided an opportunity for participants to deepen their knowledge about risks on the roads in a variety of ways such as presenting scenarios, quizzes and engaging in role-playing.

This, he said, will be knitted together by the underlying theme of building a culture where road safety is a shared responsibility for the entire community.

“The casualties last year on the road are worryingly high. They had reached an emergency point. The statistics reflect the impact on young people and their families. Measures such as this training are a positive step in making sure we get our roads under control,” he said.

“We need to have stronger and swifter measures because we cannot allow prospective successors of Cambodian families to have bad attitudes to driving. They need to be educated in safe driving behaviour and the law, to become role models.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport secretary of state Yuok Gnoy said the work was very important to train young people on the importance of road safety, so they could further disseminate it.

“We were told that traffic accidents were an issue that required attention. The ministry has therefore incorporated road safety standards into the curriculum,” he said.

He also said the accidents had caused wider impacts, with social and economic issues as a result of traffic accidents costing hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

“It has affected productivity, health care, job opportunities and more,” he added.

At a meeting on Friday to review last year’s work and set goals for action plan 2020, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who is also the chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, said he was aware of the traffic problem, and set 2020 as the year to tackle the issue.

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