With this year being designated a critical one in the fight to reduce road casualties, specialists from the National Road Safety Committee are drafting a new sub-decree to punish those that break traffic rules.
A report from the Department of Traffic Police and Public Order shows that in January, 206 people died and more than 550 were injured in 358 road accidents.
National Road Safety Committee spokesman Chhuon Von told The Post on Wednesday that traffic accidents continue to take the lives of hundreds of Cambodians. He noted that most were the result of people breaking the law.
He said 70 per cent of deaths and injuries recorded on Cambodian roads were motorists who did not wear helmets.
Accidents were caused by exceeding the speed limit, driving under the influence of alcohol and ignoring traffic signs and road markings. Only about 30 per cent of accidents were caused by vehicle and road-related factors.
To tackle the problem, specialists from the National Road Safety Committee are drafting a new sub-decree.
“It will increase punishments for anyone who fails to follow the law, including not wearing a protective helmet, exceeding the speed limit, driving under the influence of alcohol, ignoring traffic signs and road markings and putting others in danger.
“Fines and punishments will be increased to ensure citizens follow the law,” Von said.
Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak said to improve safety on Cambodian roads, the law must be enforced more strictly, and traffic rules must be more widely disseminated.
For the last 10 years, the Institute for Road Safety has helped the government set up mechanisms to implement the law efficiently. The government, he said, has established programmes to educate the people and enforce the law strictly and without discrimination.
“The goal is to have the law apply equally to everyone,” he said.
Without serious changes to the way the law is disseminated and enforced, his institute believes that as many as 3,200 people could die on Cambodian roads every year.
Last year, 1,981 Cambodians lost their lives in traffic accidents, 220 more than in 2018.