Road safety is a big issue in Cambodia. Many people do not wear helmets when driving a motorbike, very few wear helmets as a motorbike passenger, and even less wear helmets when riding a bicycle. Recently, we presented some information with graphic images to our staff. These are the facts:
- On average, five people a day die in road accidents in Cambodia
- 90% of crash victims in Cambodia ride a motorbike or bicycle
- Over the past five years, the number of accidents increased by more than 200 percent, and the number of fatalities was 1,717 in 2010.
- The peak age group of those who die is 20-29 years old
- Speeding and drink driving is the biggest cause of accidents
- Almost 80% of people who die in moto accidents die from head injuries
By presenting these facts and graphic images of Cambodian road accidents, our staff understood what we have been telling them for months – that although a helmet may ruin your hairstyle, it can save your life. We have now given all of our staff good quality moto helmets and/or bicycle helmets. They have signed a contract stating that they will wear their helmet at all times. If they are seen without their helmet twice, in accordance with our Code of Conduct, they lose their job. In the past, our staff would have been resentful of these strict rules, but now their have been no complaints. After seeing these facts, they understand the importance of protecting their lives and also setting a good example for our community.
Thank you to our always generous sponsors, Janet and Allen Johnson, who donated the funds to purchase these helmets.