PHNOM PENH (Khmer Times) – Cambodia has committed to reducing the number of traffic-related fatalities in the Kingdom by 50 percent over the next five years.
On average, between five and six people are killed in traffic accidents every day, according to government statistics. In all, 1950 people died on Cambodia’s roads in 2013.
Transport minister Tram Iv Tek said that while eliminating all traffic deaths is an impossible task, it is realistic to cut the rate in half by 2020. The goal for 2015 is to reduce the number of road accidents by 10 percent, he added.
Traffic accidents remain one of Cambodia’s, and particularly Phnom Penh’s, most pressing social concerns, injuring over 5,000 people a year. The government believes many of the fatalities and injuries could be avoided.
“Fifty percent of deaths are caused by speeding,” said Mr. Iv Tek.
The transport minister added that people driving under the influence of alcohol is another major cause of road accidents.
However, government efforts to stem the number of traffic accidents and their related fatalities have delivered some tangible results recently.
The law requiring motorcycle drivers to wear a helmet is widely recognized as having contributed to the reduction in the number of deaths and serious injuries. Many people, though, continue to flout the law.
The Cambodian government has joined forces with the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) and Handicap International to collate reliable figures on traffic accidents. The Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health will supply the data.
Kong Sovann, GRSP spokesman, said the only way to reduce the high number of traffic accidents is for people in the community to educate themselves about the rules of the road.