Road safety in Cambodia
The Global status report on road safety 2013 estimates that more than 2400 people are killed in road traffic crashes in Cambodia every year. Motorcyclists make up 70% of all these. Pedestrians are the second most vulnerable group, representing 12% of all road fatalities. Cambodia is one of the countries included in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme which is being conducted over five years (2010-2014) by a consortium of international partners together with national governments and local organizations.
Cambodia road safety project
The overall goal of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Global Road Safety Programme in Cambodia is to support the Government of Cambodia to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries, by increasing helmet wearing for motorcyclists and reducing drink–driving.
In the context of the project in Cambodia, WHO assesses legislation and advises on possible improvements, develops social marketing campaigns and measures their impact, hosts workshops for journalists, and provides road safety equipment to local implementers. The Global Road Safety Partnership trains the police on enforcement and supports NGOs in their advocacy efforts, while Johns Hopkins University conducts monitoring and evaluation activities.
While some components of the project are being implemented nationally, such as social marketing, others are being carried out in the following provinces:
- Banteay Meanchey
- Kampong Cham
- Kampong Chhnang
- Kampong Speu
- Kampong Thom
- Phnom Penh
- Preah Sihanouk
- Prey Veng
- Siem Reap
- Svay Rieng
The combined population of these focus provinces is around 7 million people.
Since 2012 WHO has provided technical support to assess the Road Traffic Law and provide recommendations for improvement in legislation on all risk factors, in particular motorcycle helmets and drink–driving. A comprehensive amendment to the Road Traffic law has been drafted and is waiting for Cabinet approval in Cambodia, after which it will be submitted to the National Assembly.
WHO produces evidence-based mass media campaigns after extensive research and testing conducted with target audiences. The following social marketing campaigns to prevent drink–driving and promote motorcycle helmets have been developed and aired in Cambodia. These campaigns consist of television and radio spots, as well as print ads.
If You Drink, Don’t Drive (2013)
A recall evaluation of this drink–driving prevention campaign was conducted through roadside interviews. It revealed that 92% of car drivers and 96% of motorcycle drivers across the target provinces had seen the campaign on one or another of the media used for dissemination.
Wear A Helmet, Anywhere, Anytime (2012)
The evaluation results of this motorcycle helmet promotion campaign indicated that 55% of respondents had seen a campaign on helmets, while 93% of respondents in Phnom Penh could recall precisely the campaign developed by WHO and partners.
Working with the media
Media reporting on road safety is an important mechanism for raising awareness among the general public and promoting specific policy changes by policy-makers. To date WHO has hosted two workshops for media, one in Phnom Penh for national journalists in March 2013 and one for provincial journalists from six provinces in December 2013.
While both workshops focused on road safety generally, the first addressed more specifically the need for improved motorcycle helmet legislation and the second highlighted the need to resume enforcement efforts. To date WHO has engaged with 68 journalists in total from print and broadcast media through these workshops.