The National Road Safety Committee said 2020 will be the year it strengthens enforcement of the Road Traffic Law, while Minister of Interior Sar Kheng urged traffic police to enforce the law equally and without tolerance to reduce the number of traffic casualties.
The remarks came after a sharp increase in traffic casualties and injuries, as well as the number of damaged public and private properties due to traffic accidents was noted last year, as compared to 2018.
“The number of deaths increased by 220 – a 12 per cent rise – while the number of injured increased by 1,371 or 29 per cent.
“Three major factors were noted for these figures. For instance, the 37 per cent increase in the number of vehicles; an imbalance in ratio between road infrastructures and vehicles and poor driving behaviour,” said Sar Kheng.
To minimise traffic accidents this year, he said the ministry and relevant institutions, along with authorities, enterprises and schools must reinforce its information dissemination initiatives regarding the traffic law.
Drivers of all types of vehicles must strictly adhere to the 10 points of road safety – the driver must know how to drive, wear a helmet, buckle a safety belt, yield the right-of-way, ensure the vehicle adheres to technical standards, always be careful, adhere to the speed limit, not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and avoid drowsy driving.
“The General Secretariat, all sub-committees on road safety and traffic law enforcement forces must have the spirit of being responsible and must enforce the law fairly, without tolerance, with transparency and in a manner that abides by the code of ethics.
“This shall ensure road users strictly obeyed the law,” he said.
The annual traffic report said 4,121 accidents were cited last year. Of these, 1,981 involved deaths and 6,141 were injured. From the figures, roughly 5.4 people were killed on a daily basis.
Most of the accidents happened in the capital and Preah Sihanouk and Kandal provinces.
Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak said Sar Kheng’s announcement will come to naught if it is not heeded by road users and not properly enforced by the traffic police.
“The initiative to improve road safety in the Kingdom is a good step. But this announcement must be followed by the transparent and effective enforcement of the traffic law. So, we shall wait and see how they will implement the order,” said Ratanak.
During this month’s Lunar New Year celebrations, traffic accidents increased by 35, killing 26 and injuring 39, a police report revealed.