Following yet another collision on Tuesday—a train struck a car that drove around a lowered boom barrier in Phnom Penh—the country’s railways operator said it would soon televise a public education campaign to promote safety.
“We need to do something,” said John Guiry, CEO of Royal Railways.
Speakers blaring safety messages and the distribution of pamphlets along railway lines had proven insufficient so far, Mr. Guiry said, prompting the company to produce safety videos, set to be broadcast next month.
Collisions have been common since cargo trains began running again in 2010 and passenger trains made a return last year, he said.
The minor accident on Tuesday in Tuol Kok district’s Boeng Kak II commune was caused by a driver who circumvented a lowered boom barrier, commune police chief Khat Khuntith said.
Two other cars were damaged by the impact, but no one was injured, he said.
“They had already closed the path, but the car insisted on going,” Mr. Khuntith added.
Mr. Guiry said the driver had not been able to get off the tracks in time because the road on either side had been crowded with vehicles.
He added that there had been another minor accident in Sihanoukville in the past week caused by a driver who had driven onto the tracks as a train approached.
Khuon Frandara, director of Royal Railways’ sales and marketing, said three safety videos 20 to 30 seconds in length would air on major television stations such as CTN, CNC and MyTV—as well as Facebook and YouTube—beginning in the third week of July.
The videos, which would draw from previous accidents, were expected to air for three to five months, she said.
The company wants “to bring more awareness to the public about how important it is to be cautious when we cross the railway,” she said.
A week after the relaunch of the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville passenger train route in April last year, a family of six was injured when the driver tried to cross the tracks ahead of an oncoming train.
Months later, a man was fatally struck in Phnom Penh after drunkenly falling asleep on train tracks.
soumy@cambodiadaily.com*
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