Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said he is vehemently opposed to the perpetrators of traffic accidents who believe they could escape legal consequences for maiming or killing people merely by paying compensation to their victims. He vowed to intervene if he heard of any such case.
He spoke to reporters while observing the 17th World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which took place on December 7 in front of Wat Botum in Chaktomuk commune of the capital’s Daun Penh district.
“Some individuals may try to escape justice in this way. I do not support this kind of behaviour. If I am given specific information about any such case, I will take appropriate action,” he said.
He expressed his regrets over a recent traffic accident in which a man drove his car under the influence of alcohol and hit a motorbike, leaving three victims, including a two-month-old baby, seriously injured.
Minister of Justice Keut Rith also said that offenders who cause serious accidents or deaths must be held accountable.
“Law enforcement officers must prosecute wrongdoers with no exception,” he said.
While speaking at the remembrance ceremony, Sar Kheng said that, on the positive side, road users are showing an increased respect for the rules of the road.
“The number of fines that were issued averaged 2,000 per day in 2020. In 2022, that number has reduced to an average of 300,” he added.
However, the growing number of road accidents remains a cause for concern.
Khuong Sreng, the governor of Phnom Penh and chairman of the sub-committee on road safety for the capital, said that in the first 11 months of this year, the number of accidents had increased alarmingly.
He noted that in Phnom Penh alone, there were a total of 903 accidents, an increase of over 20 per cent from just 741 over the same period last year. A total of 261 people died on the capital’s streets, an increase of nine. There were 896 serious injuries.
“In response to this increase in needless losses, the capital’s road-safety sub-committee is stepping up efforts through … education, administrative measures and law enforcement,” he added.
These three measures will be stepped up alongside efforts to improve urban infrastructure and expand the scope of public transport services through the Phnom Penh Autonomous Bus Transportation Authority (City Bus), said Sreng.