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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plan aims to cut road deaths

Plan aims to cut road deaths

Every day, five people die in traffic accidents in Cambodia – a number the government is hoping to reduce with a new policy aimed at cutting traffic accidents by 50 per cent in 2020.

The National Policy on Road Safety, passed by the Council of Ministers on Friday, is an expansion of the existing Road Safety Action Plan for 2011-2020.

But while it will see the budget for the project quintupled, from $2 million a year to $10 million a year, specifics provided to the Post yesterday were thin.

Under the new policy, Cambodia will implement the United Nations’ five road safety strategies, as well as three Cambodia-specific plans, according to Men Chansokol, chief of international relations at the National Road Safety Committee.

Chansokol said the new policy includes schemes to enforce driving licence laws, create an organisational body to oversee all public transportation and improve traffic law enforcement, though he did not expand on precisely how those goals would be accomplished.

San Chey, Cambodian representative for the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific – which in 2011 led a coalition of NGOs in pushing for improved road safety – said that while more money devoted to the issue could be “helpful”, lack of enforcement and education remain the biggest issues.

“The government usually issues many recommendations to reduce traffic accidents, but the laws are not well enforced. If law enforcement is not made more accountable and the corruption issue stopped, then traffic accidents will remain a major problem and Cambodians will keep getting killed.”

Ear Chariya, road safety program officer for Handicap International Belgium (HIB) in Cambodia, also said follow-through was the key.

“[W]ithout detailed implementation strategies … it cannot be accomplished.”

Road accidents claimed 1,912 lives in 2013, according to the Ministry of Interior.

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Chariya EAR's picture

I would like to correct the above article on "Cambodia Road Safety Action Plan". The government does not specify the target of cutting traffic accidents by 50 per cent in 2020 in the new policy passed by the Council of Ministers on last Friday. Neither does the government mention the budget for investing on road safety in 2011-2020 in the new policy nor in the attached action plan of the policy. That's why I would like to urge the government to develop a comprehensive national road safety action plan with the specific target by 2020 and make the commitment to achieve this target.

Regards,

Ear Chariya
Road Safety Program Manager
Handicap International (HI)

Chariya EAR's picture

The government also proposed the national road safety action plan for 2006-2010 without the specific/measurable indicators and there was no assessment or evaluation after 2010. The plan was just the plan; there was no commitment and the will to translate the plan into action. I hope this time "new road safety policy and action plan" will be a standing document and the responsible institutions/ministries will find the will to walk the talk.

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