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Campaign to Reduce Traffic Accidents

Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen puts a piece of reflective tape on a truck as part of a government push to reduce traffic accidents at night. Supplied

The government launched a campaign yesterday to distribute 3.4 million pieces of reflective tape in an effort to reduce traffic accidents at night, with Prime Minister Hun Sen ordering officials and party members to give the tape out for free and threatening to arrest anyone who takes money from citizens.
 
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of National Road 44 in Kampong Speu province, Mr. Hun Sen said the campaign was undertaken to help reduce nighttime traffic accidents, which mostly occur due to a lack of traffic safety such as overtaking other vehicles and not having adequate reflective devices.
 
“When I got these things, I passed them to provincial authorities, the government working group, to distribute in each province, to distribute directly to people’s homes,” said the prime minister. “Do not put them somewhere and wait for people to come and take them. Spend time to do it, do not be lazy.
 
“I hope civil servants, the forces and I also hope CPP [Cambodian People’s Party] members contribute in doing this because the opposition party did not do it.
 
“I do not depend on the opposition party because the CPP has enough members without depending on them because when we asked to help solve the water crisis, they didn’t do it.”
 
The prime minister also threatened officials with arrest if they tried to take money from citizens as the reflective devices are to be distributed free of charge.
 
“If someone takes a piece of it to sell for 10,000 or 5,000 riel, please arrest them and keep them in that place for me, because there are some cheaters, they want money, they may take it without giving it away and sell it instead,” he said.
 
Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said the reflective tape would be given to people to stick on the back of their vehicle, tuk-tuk, ox cart, two-wheeled tractor and other kinds of agricultural machinery throughout the country.
 
He also appealed to “please always be careful while traveling because accidents causing death can happen any time.”
 
Independent road safety analyst Ear Chariya applauded the creation of the campaign to distribute reflective vehicle tape, saying that most accidents happen between 6pm and 8pm and result in deaths 20 percent of the time.
 
However, he said the government should further strengthen traffic measures and implement them everywhere consistently, check the condition of traffic signs along roads and check the condition of vehicles as well.
 
Mr. Chariya added that “this measure is a part, but is not guaranteed to change drivers’ behavior, so there must be other measures to reduce this problem.”
 
According to a report on road accidents in the Kingdom, from January 1 to June 15 this year, 1,777 accidents were reported with a total of 4,005 victims, of which 865 people died, 1,855 were seriously injured and 1,285 were slightly injured.

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