Institute for Road Safety director Ear Chariya speaks at a road safety seminar at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center on Saturday in Phnom Penh. Facebook
Institute for Road Safety director Ear Chariya speaks at a road safety seminar at the Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center on Saturday in Phnom Penh. Facebook

About 60 high school and university students experimented with an interactive tool for learning about road safety at Phnom Penh’s Cambodia-Japan Cooperation Center (CJCC) on Saturday morning, as part of an ongoing study by the Honda Foundation’s International Association of Traffic and Safety Sciences (IATSS).

The study, which will be completed in April 2018, will assess Cambodian road safety issues and offer potential solutions, especially in regards to education aimed at improving road literacy.

About 20 students at this weekend’s seminar contributed footage of their daily commutes. Ear Chariya, founding director of the Institute for Road Safety, said students were invited to identify dangerous behaviour and discuss potential remedies.

Young people between the ages of 15 and 30 were involved in nearly half of last year’s traffic accidents, according to statistics released by the National Road Safety Committee. Strengthening road safety standards and educating young people on respecting traffic laws are crucial, said Chariya, who helped lead the seminar. According to him, the IATSS study will feature recommendations for tools, like the videos, that educators can use to teach road safety skills.

“I learned quite a lot,” said Chhun Sen Neang, a 17-year-old student at Phnom Penh’s Preah Sisowath High School.

“We were asked to describe the traffic situation in Cambodia and what annoyed us.”

Most of the students, according to Sen Neang, complained that “drivers don’t respect pedestrians, especially young moto drivers”. She said that to encourage a more pedestrian-friendly environment, the students proposed the creation of more public parking spaces.