More than 300 road safety education banners have been put up along the streets of every province for display during the Khmer New Year as a reminder of the dangers of careless driving.
Asia Injury Prevention Foundation director Kim Pagna told The Post on Sunday that his team had collaborated with the Ministry of Interior’s National Committee on Road Traffic Safety to implement the campaign.
They aim to promote public awareness through billboards and banners, the distribution of leaflets and by directly informing people, in car parks and on important national roads, about the importance of road safety.
Pagna said his team would be stationed on National Roads 4 and 6 and a number of other important sites.
More than 300 banners have already been put up, he said. They focus on explaining road traffic laws, including warning drivers to avoid drunk-driving, to wear helmets while riding motorbikes, give priority to other road users, not to exceed the speed limit and not to make turns or overtake in risky situations.
“While we hope for strong participation in this campaign, I still urge the police to strictly enforce traffic laws and enforce fines on offenders rather than rely on educational messages. The messages are only reminders. We want this campaign to grow, but it can only work if it goes hand-in-hand with law enforcement,” Pagna said.
Run Rath Veasna, the head of the Ministry of Interior’s Department of Traffic and Public Order, could not be reached for comment on Monday.
According to a statement issued by the department, nine people were killed on Monday, four of whom were female. Another 19 people (five female) were injured in 17 accidents.
The report said that in the first eight days of April, there were a total of 98 accidents, killing at least 52 people and seriously injuring 129.
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who is chairman of the National Committee on Road Traffic Safety, issued a statement last Wednesday on preventing road accidents during Khmer New Year. He said traffic accidents remain a challenging long-term issue, and that accidents occurred when drivers were negligent or do not obey traffic rules.
He also said to minimise the number of accidents over the New Year holiday, the National Committee on Road Traffic Safety had reminded the public to carefully check their vehicles’ roadworthiness – such as tyres, brakes, steering and lights.
Don’t overload vehicles with passengers or goods, he said, also reminding trucks and buses that transport workers they must not exceed the legal limit for passengers or allow people to ride on the roof.
He stressed the importance of wearing a helmet, wearing a seatbelt, respecting signs denoting the right of way, not exceeding the speed limit, and absolutely not driving under the influence of alcohol.
Sar Kheng reminded people not to overtake if there was any risk, not to drive when tired and to always be vigilant.
He also appealed to bus, minivan and taxi drivers not to increase their fares over Khmer New Year.