Minister of Interior Sar Kheng called on all road users to be extra cautious while travelling during next week’s Water Festival to minimise accidents.
In the last nine months, road traffic casualties have dropped by 22 per cent year-on-year, while fatalities and injuries fell by 16 and 29 per cent, respectively, from the same time last year, the minister said in a November 12 letter.
Sar Kheng, who is also National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) chairman, said helmetless motorcycle riders accounted for up to 71 per cent of total accidents.
He ascribed the overall drop in casualties to the traffic police’s redoubled efforts to maintain order on the road and the increased general public participation in the enforcement of road traffic law.
The call comes after the Kingdom kicked off a phased reopening scheme on November 1 that covers almost all sectors, and ahead of the three-day Water Festival, which falls from November 18-20 this year.
The second day of the festival, which is known locally as Bon Om Touk, marks the second full moon after the end of the Pchum Ben observance – also referred to as the Beaver Moon.
Sar Kheng asked road users to obey speed limits and be cautious when turning, avoid drunk driving, and talk on the phone through hands-free devices if they absolutely have to take a call.
He also called for users to stay on the right-hand side of the road, avoid driving while tired, buckle up and perform the routine checks before hitting the road. Motorcyclists must wear helmets and drivers for hire must stick to passenger limits, he said.
The minister added that the NRSC “hopes that all road users will participate and follow the road traffic laws, as well as this appeal, in order to ensure safety during the Water Festival for all travellers”.