The first half of this year saw a significant reduction in road traffic deaths across Cambodia, with 756 fatalities, marking a drop of approximately 20 per cent from 942 logged in the same period last year.

According to a July 11 report from the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC), the first six months of 2023 recorded 1,548 road accidents nationwide, resulting in 2,072 injuries – a decrease of four and seven per cent respectively from the same period last year when 1,609 accidents and 2,235 injuries were reported.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said on July 11 that human error was the leading cause of accidents, noting that 39 per cent was due to speeding, 25 per cent to right-of-way rule violations and 10 per cent to careless driving.

Other factors contributing to accidents included a failure to keep to the right at nine per cent, dangerous overtaking seven per cent, drunk driving three per cent, drowsiness at the wheel one per cent, mechanical issues four per cent and weather conditions one per cent.

Kim Pagna, country director of the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP), lauded the reduction in casualties on July 11.

“The decline in traffic accidents is what stakeholders and I want to see, and we hope this trend continues,” he said.

Referring to the report, Pagna urged stakeholders to adopt more stringent measures in response to the current situation.

“Even though the first half of this year has seen a drop, we cannot neglect the issue of traffic accidents, as it is uncertain whether the next six months will see a further reduction or an increase,” he cautioned.

“We are making headway, but we need to implement even stricter measures to lower this number because one or two deaths still pose a significant challenge that brings hardship and tragedy to our people,” he added.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol has said that Cambodia records, on average, five deaths and 10 injuries per day, with motorcyclists involved in 75 per cent of total traffic accidents.

He noted that the government has introduced a policy to reduce road traffic accidents by half by 2030, indicating that the dissemination of road safety information plays a vital role in increasing public awareness.