The Ministry of Public Works and Transport called on the public to understand and follow road traffic regulations and laws to avoid accidents which often result in death, injury and damage to property.
Ministry secretary of state Min Manvy, who also serves as secretary-general of the National Road Safety Committee, said most fatal road accidents are caused by drivers’ ignorance of the law.
Manvy made the remarks at an online event organised by the ministry on October 27 to answer questions from the public on the causes of accidents.
According to Manvy, in the first nine months of this year, traffic accidents left 1,888 dead, 1,560 seriously injured and nearly 4,000 vehicles damaged.
She said the main cause of traffic accidents during this period was speeding, which accounted for 36 per cent of accidents resulting in 457 deaths, followed by neglecting to give way, which made up 24 per cent with 189 deaths. Fifteen accidents were caused by not driving on the right side of the road, leading to 163 fatalities.
Other factors included careless overtaking, drunk driving, vehicle condition, drowsiness and road conditions, she said.
But Manvy stressed that the main reason for accidents was drivers’ limited understanding of road traffic laws.
To reduce road accidents, the ministry said authorities have to strengthen law enforcement and increase fines for offences.
“But the government wishes to see all road users happy, safe and avoid injury and death due to these accidents which can lead to poverty,” the ministry said in a press statement after the live show.
Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak said the establishment of this programme is a good initiative to provide an educational message and address doubts people have when using the road.
He said this is a part of what is called social marketing, and the effectiveness of this activity depends on how many people visit and especially participate in inquiries to clearly understand what should be done in relation to safety rules or road traffic laws.
“I suggest that the ministry boost its Facebook page to reach more people and promote the programme when most social media users are online such as during lunch breaks or holiday.
“Education alone is not enough to reduce the number of accidents or casualties. There needs to be more legal restrictions and safety engineering,” he added.