The Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP Foundation) will train 1,000 truck drivers who transport garment and footwear factory workers in Phnom Penh and six provinces to ensure safe commute for them.
The NGO will also launch an app to monitor and evaluate training results, which is conducted through the organisation’s “Safe Driving and Economy Step2” programme, according to AIP Foundation director Kim Pagna.
Pagna said the course will focus on truck drivers in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal, Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Cham, Svay Rieng and Takeo. The programme will kick off in late November after trainers, who are officials from relevant ministries, complete training in mid-November. The NGO also plans to expand training to other provinces in the future.
For now, the training focuses on two areas – safe driving and economical driving.
The former involves obeying the road traffic law, inspecting vehicles before departure and identifying any problems.
The latter involves fuel-efficient driving and how to drive to reduce emissions from old trucks. The training will show drivers techniques in fuel economy and environmental pollution reduction.
“During training, truck drivers will learn road rules, driving techniques, how to drive safely, as well as how to inspect a vehicle before travelling. As a result, drivers will be able to provide safe transportation services for workers, so they meet with fewer accidents or no accidents at all,” Pagna said.
He continued that the training would also provide drivers with skills to save on fuel costs and their income. His organisation also hopes that drivers will think about changing the trucks they use as they were older models and were uneconomical and polluting.
“We hope that this training will help reduce pollution as the trucks today are older models and have been used for up to 20 years and produce a lot of pollution. Therefore, we hope drivers will reduce the use of old trucks,” he said.
The app launch will support procedures to monitor and evaluate the results of the training, and will make a more accurate assessment of the efficiency of training on whether drivers have increased awareness and changed their behaviour.
“Sometimes, when drivers report or when we go with them, we see changes. But in practical attitudes, when we do not go, they may not change. So this app helps us to understand if drivers speed or how they brake,” Panha said.
“We hope that this course, if there is no Covid-19 problems in communities, will finish by March 2022.”
Chay Samnang, deputy director of the Department of Customer Service and Public Relations at the National Social Security Fund Fund (NSSF), said on October 28 that the NSSF supported the programme. He said similar training was also organised for truck drivers from 2018 to 2019 across the country.
“This training is good because what we do is achieve the common goal of reducing traffic accidents, especially for workers who commute by truck. Our government and NGOs have also done it before,” he said.
Samnang said traffic accidents involving workers in the first nine months of this year were on the decline. But the NSSF, he noted, still has concerns about truck drivers who are new, so regular monitoring and training is necessary.