In the first 10 days of April, 67 people have been killed and 169 injured in road accidents across the Kingdom, said a report released on Wednesday by the Department of Traffic Police and Public Order at the General Commissariat of National Police.
The report said 10 people were killed in traffic accidents on Wednesday with 26 others injured. On Tuesday, five were killed and 12 injured.
The worst-hit province this month was Kampong Speu, the report said, followed by the capital and Svay Rieng, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear and Kandal provinces.
It said most accidents were the result of exceeding the speed limit, dangerous overtaking, not respecting other vehicles’ priority, driving on the wrong side of the road, and drink driving.
Old habits die hard
Kong Sovann, a technical road safety adviser at the Ministry of Rural Development, expressed concern over the increasing road fatalities and suggested that Cambodia is far from achieving its task of reducing the death rate to zero by 2025 as planned.
“We can see that relevant authorities have made great efforts to strengthen education and raise awareness of traffic laws and road safety, but most people haven’t changed their ways."
“However, the people’s attitude cannot be changed in one day or a week. It takes time and needs regular education and a concerted effort,” Sovann said.
He raised Australia and Japan as examples, saying it took decades before those countries to successfully ensure people understood traffic laws and road safety.
“Japan took about 70 years to get to their current position and Australia spent almost 40 years,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Tuesday urged the Ministry of Education to increase the teaching of traffic laws and road signs in schools.
“Only by bringing education on traffic law, road safety and drug abuse into the mainstream of our students’ curriculum – from primary school level to high school – can we achieve success in the future,” Sar Kheng said.
He urged the relevant authorities to pay more attention to road safety during Khmer New Year and appealed to everyone to obey traffic laws, wear seatbelts, stick to the speed limit and not drive when drunk.