As road safety for children to and from school is not sufficiently alert, awareness campaign will become an effective tool to change public attitude to find appropriate safety journey mechanisms to save children’s life from some preventable incidents. In principle, all children, especially boys and girls in primary school, deserve a safe journey without fear and injury to get education.
Urban Voice Cambodia – an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Project that introduces a map-based visualization through direct reports on urban issues like traffic congestion, garbage management, blackout and public transportation…etc. from Phnom Penh residents – has been observing on heavy traffic conditions around the campuses of public primary schools that children are at unnecessary risks of accident to and from class. We ask some questions regarding road safety topic likes: do children receive enough prevention mechanism to get education without fear and injury caused by traffic incident? We have to call for implementable actions which will engage different stakeholders to ensure that all children can safely travel to and from their school.
The Traffic Conditions at the Anuwatreachteany Primary School
Around 5:00 PM, Urban Voice Cambodia visited the primary school to probe for heavy flow of traffic situation which simultaneously little boys and girls were heading home. There has a two lanes RCAF Boulevard which has accumulated vehicle coming from both directions. 10 minutes to 5:00 PM, traffic movement dramatically changed because the official class schedule would be over. Hundreds of beautiful children were so happy after class, and they would get home. We had seen an incredible scene of parents’ or guidance’ motorcycles coming to pick up the young children. In addition, we saw kids crossing the busy and unsafe road without assistance to different destinations. Of course, they have the same practice twice a day. We realized that children were so unsafe, they had no helmet, and they crossed the road with no assistant. The road itself has neither zebra sign for pedestrian crossing, traffic lights, nor warning sign.
Road Safety Initiatives
The Sustainable Development Goals has acknowledged the significant functions of various stakeholders to call for prompt actions by imposing an ambitious aim to reduce global road traffic deaths and injuries by 50% by 2020. Importantly, the responsive actions pay special attention to the most vulnerable groups including disabilities people and children. Regarding children’s road safety protection, the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration officially a campaign called Save Kids Lives to address the plight of children and their vulnerable status on the road, and to call for strong worldwide commitments to take actions to save lives on the road to reach the global goals targets.
To guarantee that kids deserve a safe journey to and from school, regulation should be adopted, voices of children safety advocator must be listened and amplified, and initiative actions must be taken to make sure roads are safe for all children.
Immediate actions should be taken are:
- Safety footpaths and zebra sign for pedestrian crossing;
- Road bumps or safety provider to slow the traffic movement and assisting boys and girls crossing roads respectively.
- Vehicles carrying children, cars and buses in particular, should have seatbelts. In case, children ride on motorcycle with their parents and guidance or ride their own bicycle, they must have helmets.
- The local police should do more to smoothly reduce heavy traffic at time that boys and girls travel to and from school.