The Ministry of Public Works and Transport – in collaboration with the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP) and life insurance firm Manulife (Cambodia) Plc – announced the January 17 launch of a road safety awareness campaign ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.

The campaign began with the launch of 350 banners sponsored by Manulife which highlight major accident risks, including speeding, not wearing a helmet, dangerous overtaking, the importance of respecting the right of way, awareness of animals, and respect for the rules of the road.

Min Manvi, secretary of state at the transport ministry, said that in just a few days, the Lunar New Year will be on us. Although it is not an official national holiday, many families across the Kingdom will gather to celebrate the occasion.

“During the upcoming Lunar New Year, the streets will be busy and because many people will be rushing to arrive at their destination, they may be tempted to take more risks than they might otherwise,” said Manvi, who is also the secretary-general of the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC).

A report by the national police’s Department of Road Traffic and Public Order showed that in 2022, 25 people were killed and 49 others seriously injured in traffic accidents during the three days of the Lunar New Year.

“Today we met with our partners, Manulife and AIP, to launch a joint road safety education campaign using signs which carry warnings about potential dangers on the roads. Through this campaign, we expect the death and injury rates from traffic accidents to decrease during this year’s celebrations,” said Manvi.

She called on all road users to participate in preventing traffic accidents by always wearing motorcycle helmets, not driving under the influence of alcohol and not exceeding the speed limit.

AIP director Kim Panha said that the prevention of traffic accidents and a reduction in the number of deaths and injuries during the Lunar New Year will require the full participation of all parties. Drivers will need to exercise patience and tolerance while driving.

“Education contributes to reducing the road toll, but it is more important that drivers have the skills they need. The authorities also have a part to play, and should strictly enforce traffic laws, with no exceptions,” he added.

Kan Nara, managing director of the Consumer and Marketing Department of Manulife Cambodia, said the company had supported traffic safety education since 2012, through its partnership with AIP’s “Helmets for families” programme.

“Through our collaboration, we have provided nearly 8,000 quality helmets to students, their teachers and guardians. We have offered traffic education to more than 6,000 students, along with more than 300 teachers and nearly 20,000 of their parents. At least 170 children have avoided traumatic head injuries through this programme,” she added.

According to Kan Nara, since 2012, the company has spent more than $4 million in support of the Cambodian community. It has supported government initiatives to improve road safety, distributed helmets and sponsored the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, which raised money for a children’s hospital, among other events.

“If we work together, we will achieve safety on all of the Kingdom’s roads,” said Manulife Cambodia CEO and general manager Justin Helferich.