New law, success for Cambodia helmet campaign
The Cambodian National Assembly has today approved a new Road Traffic Law, in which motorcycle passengers—including children—are required to wear helmets.
Through donor support to the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, the FIA Foundation has been part of an international effort by many organisations and donors to encourage passage of the legislation.
“When the draft law was about to ‘leave our children behind’ in 2011, AIP Foundation led an initiative that resulted in the inclusion of children in the draft passenger helmet mandate,” explained Greig Craft, President and Founder of AIP Foundation.
In response to research findings that 98% of the public was in support of a passenger helmet law, AIP Foundation then submitted a Joint Statement to the Minister of Transport in 2013 appealing for the law to be passed. This statement was mentioned in the UN Secretary-General’s report, Improving Global Road Safety, and has gained support from individuals, the private sector, and civil society.
In May 2014, AIP Foundation presented a study to the Government demonstrating that 561 lives could be saved, 10,572 head injuries prevented, and USD 98,618,422 could be saved by 2020, if the law was passed in 2014.
In collaboration with the FIA Foundation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The UPS Foundation, Manulife, more recently USAID-DIV, and the Cambodian Government, AIP Foundation implements programmes that have increased helmet use rates at schools from 0% to 88%.
“With the new Road Traffic Law, we hope to see similar results nationwide,” said Mr. Craft.
Saul Billingsley, Director General of the FIA Foundation, said:
"The passage of this legislation is great news for all Cambodians, and particularly the children. It is also a great way to kick off the global #SaveKidsLives campaign, because it is a demonstration of what can be achieved with commitment and consistent focus and pressure. I am delighted that the FIA Foundation has been able to play our part in this success, and pay tribute to our partner in Cambodia, the AIP Foundation, as well as the Cambodian Government and the many advocates within the government and police. This has been a genuine partnership effort and many other organisations including GRSP, Handicap International, the Red Cross and WHO, and other donors including Bloomberg Philanthropies and UPS Foundation, have made a huge contribution. Now we look forward to continuing to support the awareness raising, implementation and enforcement of the law."