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At ARRB we are all about giving back to developing communities

by Australian Road Research Board on November 2, 2017

Children are among the most vulnerable road users and ARRB is committed to helping to create a generation of safer and smarter road users. ARRB began collaborating with the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation in 2012 and recently created the Helmets for Kids (HfK) program, which aims to make young road users role models in their community.

In March, Paul Hillier, National Technical Leader for ARRB, visited two schools in Cambodia along with the AIP Foundation staff.

Both schools are located in high-density traffic areas where over 70%-80% of students commute via motorcycle or bicycle. Very few students wore helmets prior to the HfK program, thus making them very susceptible to death and serious injury in the event of an accident.

Before.jpg After.jpg
Before the HfK program. After the HfK program was implemented.

Paul assessed the road safety situation at both schools and offered suggestions to improve pedestrian safety.

The objectives of the program included:

  • Increase helmet use of students, teachers, and parents at target schools
  • Increase road safety knowledge of students, teachers, and parents at target schools
  • Raise awareness of helmet use in surrounding communities

The program implementation consisted of:

  • School wall painting
  • Teacher & student training
  • Parent training & commitment
  • Road safety lessons review
  • School visit and recommendation
  • Relevant provincial department visit and recommendation
  • Helmet donation ceremony
  • Monitoring and evaluation
Sign.jpg
The painting on the school wall with the safety message.

Together, with the AIP, they met with the senior representative of Siem Reap‘s Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport and discussed their long term plans to upgrade National Road 6 and improve safety in school zones.

Paul with Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport.jpg
Paul meeting with the senior representative of Siem Reap‘s Provincial Department of Public Works and Transport.


On March 9th 2017, Paul and H.E Song Ryha, High Representative of Siem Reap’s Governor, attended a helmet handover ceremony as honoured guests which has held at Anuk Wat Koruk Kosal Primary School. Hundreds of helmets were donated to the schools. The event also featured student performances and speeches from key stakeholders.

 

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Paul at the Helmet Handover Ceremony.

“The ceremony at the school went like clockwork as always, with typical attention to detail, but still having that human interest and joy of the children presenting.” Says Paul.

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The students are excited to receive their new helmets.

In addition to classroom based training, extracurricular events were conducted at the ceremony. Activities included road safety lessons on how to correctly wear a helmet, Q&A, interactive games, painting and contests. These activities continued on in the months following the ceremony.

 

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The students playing interactive and eductional games.

Parents were reminded of their role in ensuring child helmet use through receiving leaflets featuring information on the importance of helmet safety role models for other community members, safe road use and driving behaviours.

Egg.jpg
One of the leaflets featuring information on the importance of helmet safety role models

Over 1,000 commitment letters were sent to parents and 100% of these were signed and returned to the schools. It is expected that the helmet wearing rate will remain high in the next school year due to the commitment from parents.

ARRB is committed to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, and as part of our commitment, ARRB donates $25 from every workshop and event registration to support the HfK initiative.

ARRB recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the AIP Foundation and Rotary Clubs Matilda Bay and Srapathum, to sponsor and implement the HfK program in another school in Thailand, the Wat Rachsingkorn School.

ARRB are proud to partner with the AIP Foundation, our knowledge transfer and donations have the potential to save hundreds of lives within these communities.

Topics: Featured, ARRB News