The Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation’s ‘Speak Up’ campaign is taking strides in improving road safety for Cambodian workers. Initiated in 2022, it is currently operational in 43 factories across seven provinces, confirms Kim Pagna, country director of AIP Foundation in Cambodia.
The provinces participating in this safety-oriented initiative include Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, Takeo and Svay Rieng. Collectively, these provinces are home to over 200,000 workers.
Pagna also mentioned that the campaign has piqued the interest of two additional factories that have since joined the initiative.
“The Speak Up campaign’s primary goal is to foster a culture of voicing concerns and addressing the traffic-related issues workers face during their commute,” he explained.
A crucial aspect of the campaign lies in reshaping the mindset of truck drivers towards prioritising worker safety, particularly in reducing high-speed driving and instances of driving under the influence, Pagna explained.
“We have seen active participation from the factories,” Pagna said. “Our ambition is to extend the campaign across all factories nationwide. We have noticed a positive shift in driver behaviour and a growing focus on passenger safety among truck owners”.
Prominent social media figure, Ham Pidor, lends her voice to the campaign, encouraging workers and the general public to support this safety drive. Through her Facebook account, she shared heartfelt anecdotes about her parents always advising caution during travel.
She expressed her belief that most families similarly counsel their children about the importance of road safety. Pidor also shed light on the hazardous travel conditions for factory workers.
“Our factory workers seem to have very little confidence in traffic safety, as some trucks carry too many passengers and exceed speed limits,” she noted.
Pidor urged everyone, especially factory workers, to vocalise their safety concerns. She encouraged dialogue with relevant individuals such as drivers, factory managers, administrators, security personnel and authorities.
Launched fourteen months ago, the Speak Up campaign received backing from USAID through the Solidarity Centre and the Asian Injury Prevention Foundation. Its aim is to bring about significant improvements in traffic safety for Cambodian workers.