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Star buckles up for road safety

Actress Michelle Yeoh gives road safety the ‘thumbs-up’ as a road safety ambassador. Photo by: SRENG MENG SRUN

HOLLYWOOD film star Michelle Yeoh has filmed a documentary promoting road safety in Cambodia as part of her work as a global road safety ambassador.

This week she visited children at Sampov Meas Primary School to help teach students and teachers to wear helmets while riding on a motorbike.

“I’ve travelled in many countries and seen the terrible impact that ... a lack of basic road safety can have on people’s lives,” said the star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Memoirs of a Geisha.

“[Someone] is killed or maimed on the roads every 30 seconds [worldwide]. These tragedies are so sad and so unnecessary because we have the ability to prevent this by wearing helmets,” Yeoh said.

The documentary and helmet initiative is part of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety. Yeoh met Public Works and Transport Minister Tram Iv Tek while in Cambodia to press for quick passage of a law making helmets compulsory for motorbike passengers.

Currently the law only requires motorbike drivers to wear helmets. However, wearing a helmet cuts the likelihood of death from a traffic crash by 42 percent, according to the Cambodia Helmet Vaccine Initiative.
Last year, 1,709 Cambodians died in road crashes.

“This documentary for the UN Decade Action for Road Safety will highlight not only the tremendous burden of road traffic crashes but also the inspirational stories of people who are working to make our roads safer,” said Saul Billingsley, deputy director general of the FIA Foundation.

According to media assistant Naro Mol, Yeoh arrived in Cambodia on Saturday, visited Siem Reap on Tuesday, and flew back to Hong Kong yesterday.

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