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Road accidents down sharply since January

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Motorists on a busy road in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. Hean Rangsey

Road accidents down sharply since January

Traffic accidents declined by 552 cases in the first six months of the year, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng posted on Facebook on Wednesday.

Deaths also decreased by 172 and injuries 778 compared to the same period last year.

Sar Kheng, who is also chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, said from January to June 30, there were 1,619 traffic accidents – a decline of 25 per cent. There were also 861 deaths (-17 per cent) and 2,449 injured (-24 per cent).

He credited the tightening of the Road Traffic Law from May to June for the drop in the numbers.

“The data shows clearly that our citizens learned and abided by the Road Traffic Law. Even though our country has thrived and there is an increase in vehicles and drivers, accidents have declined,” he said.

Sar Kheng recommended constructively tightening the law but also reminded enforcement officials to follow professional ethics and dish out discipline consistently to reduce and eliminate other negatives.

The government implemented a new sub-decree to increase fines five-fold in the hope of reducing casualties after deaths climbed dramatically last year.

Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak said enforcement of the law is based on hefty fines. But Covid-19, he said, had also played a role in declining accident numbers because fewer people were travelling.

“I want citizens to awaken to the new law and penalties. We want them to understand it is important to abide by the law for safety reasons,” he said.

Ratanak said more can still be done beyond just hefty fines. He cited traffic education, road repairs, and better signs and road markings.

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