​New guidelines enhance school zone safety | #schoolsaftey

Students crossing a road after school in Phnom Penh.
Hong Menea

The Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP) and associated partners strongly advocated that government institutions consider implementing a maximum speed of 30 km/h in school zones. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport issued guidelines in October to modify traffic signs, setting the speed limit.

“I extend my appreciation and sincere praise to the public works ministry for issuing crucial guidelines. These will contribute significantly to preventing and reducing fatalities and injuries among children, students and people in and around school zones,” said Kim Pagna, director of the AIP, on November 13.

He said the next crucial step involves promptly and efficiently promoting the ministry’s instructions. Encouraging the alteration or addition of speed limit signs to 30 km/h in school zones on national and provincial roads is vital before the new law on speed limits in school zones comes into effect.

Khuon Vicheka, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, said on November 13 that some schools along national roads in the capital and provincial towns face a serious issues. Despite crosswalk signs and school warnings being installed, motorists continue to drive at high speeds, posing risks for students attempting to cross.

“For safety, it is crucial to respect students, teachers and all education staff. Ensuring compliance with traffic regulations is vital. The public works ministry’s attention to this speed is even better, as it can contribute to preventing higher risks to students,” she pointed out.

In early October, Yit Bunna, secretary of state at the transport ministry, penned a letter to the directors of the Departments of Public Works and Transport in the capital and 24 provinces, instructing them to update the maximum speed limit signs in school zones to clearly indicate 30 km/h.

“Traffic accidents stand as the primary cause of injuries, disability or loss of life in Cambodia. Three-quarters of the casualties involve motorcyclists, pedestrians and family car and truck users. Furthermore, these accidents result in damage to public and private property, along with a significant loss of time,” he stated in his letter.

Bunna added that the Kingdom’s economy incurs an annual burden of approximately $400 million to the national budget, stemming from the loss of life and income experienced by the victims of traffic accidents.

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