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'Road Safety Week' to tackle rising fatalities

'Road Safety Week' to tackle rising fatalities

Program aims to raise road safety awareness as the number of road accidents increases.

MORE than 300 people gathered at Olympic Stadium on Tuesday to celebrate Road Safety Week, a government awareness campaign aimed at reducing the number of fatalities on Cambodia's roads.

According to Tram Iv Tik, minister of public works and transport, and a chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, four people are killed and another 59 are injured in traffic accidents on an average day in Cambodia.

"According to our yearly data, traffic accidents have been increasing by 15 percent every year, and the number of vehicles on the road has been increasing by 10 percent," he said at the ceremony at Olympic Stadium.

In Cambodia, motorbike collisions account for 77 percent of accidents, with many victims suffering head injuries, he said.   

Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhayly said at the event that road safety week provided an opportunity to motivate all road users to change negative behaviours and to improve the overall level of respect for the rule of the road and traffic laws while they are driving.

"The main cause of traffic accidents is people themselves. They don't respect traffic laws, they speed, they show negligence and drink while driving. I want to suggest to all relevant ministries and authorities taking actions on a serious scale to punish these road-rule offenders," he said.

Yim Chhayly also said more efforts needed to be taken to build footbridges for pedestrians over busy roads, particularly those near large factories.   

Young people main victims

Dr Michel Thieren, representative of the World Health Organisation in Cambodia, said that each year around 400,000 people under 25 die on roads around the world, and that most deaths happen in low- and middle-income countries including Cambodia.

"I hope that this ceremony will help promote public health awareness to all drivers and passengers, and call for greater attention on road safety in order to prevent death, injury and disability," he said.


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