More than 400 people were killed in 808 road accidents across the country from November 24 to February 23, considered the first quarter for this year, according to the National Police’s preliminary report. This represents a reduction in both accidents and fatalities from the previous quarter.
National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post on March 15 that the number of road accidents in the first quarter decreased by 198, killing a total of 434 people – a decrease of 85 over the previous quarter.
“We’ve strengthened the implementation of seven-point inspections for motorcycles and nine-point inspections for vehicles. We’ve also implemented a policy that whenever we’re stopping any vehicle for violating traffic laws, we also check the vehicle’s technical specifications to ensure they are in compliance with the law,” he said.
Kim Khoeun noted that although the number of road accidents remained relatively high, the government’s greater efforts had led to a decrease in the overall number of accidents.
Kong Sovann, a technical adviser and deputy director of road safety programme at the Ministry of Rural Development, said three key risk factors should be the focus in law enforcement in order to prevent accidents in the second quarter of the year.
He said they include deterring drivers from speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and attempting to overtake other vehicles in dangerous situations.
“Road safety education must go hand in hand with traffic enforcement to discourage drivers from engaging in these three risk factors. It includes promoting the use of helmets, respecting the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, and respect traffic lights and signs.
“Some accidents are caused by the roads themselves – problems like potholes, blind curves, roads that aren’t properly illuminated and a lack of road safety facilities during construction or a lack of road maintenance after construction,” Sovann explained.
Seeing the successes that Cambodia has had with public participation in the battle against Covid-19 – especially the contributions of generous people and well-known tycoons – Sovann said he would like to see the same level of financial contributions and public support for the Traffic Accident Prevention Fund.
“Traffic accidents kill thousands of people every year in Cambodia,” he said.
According to the National Police, on March 14 alone, road accidents nationwide had left seven people dead and four seriously injured in seven major accidents.