Eighty civil society organisations met in the capital yesterday to call on the government to strongly address the issue of drunk driving on the roads.
Drunken driving is the second- highest cause of traffic accidents in the Kingdom, according to Ear Chariya, road safety program manager at Handicap International and speaker at yesterday’s conference on road safety and drunk driving.
“There is a lack of legal framework, no control on the purchase and consumption of alcohol, no age limit . . . and very limited law enforcement. There are very few drunk driving checkpoints,” he said. “Road safety is not a priority for the government.”
The organisations plan to send a joint statement with enforcement recommendations to the government in September.
May Kosal, representative of the People Center for Development and Peace (PCDP), suggested the government “raise taxes, limit commercial advertisement, limit the availability of alcoholic drinks and raise the minimum age for alcohol consumption”.
Yesterday, Public Works and Transport Minister Tram Ivtek issued an appeal to drivers reading “Today and tomorrow, no traffic accident”, and the warning “If drunk, do not drive”, aimed at preventing the usual surge of traffic accidents during Khmer New Year.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MARIA WIRTH