Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Friday warned that the number of fatalities in traffic accidents could double this year if preventative measures are not taken.
Mr Kheng, who cited a World Health Organisation report, said road accidents worldwide kill about 1.2 million people, injure 50 million and negatively affect economies every year.
“For Cambodia, according to the road safety experts, it is estimated that if no effective measures are taken, the death toll would rise to 3,200 people by 2020,” Mr Kheng said. “Traffic accidents amount to an average of five dead and 13 injured per day, as well as millions in property damage.”
Mr Kheng said in order to continue and improve the work of the National Road Safety Committee this year, a request to national, provincial and communal leaders to push for sustainability, transparency, efficiency and accountability was sent.
“Speeding, drunk driving and not respecting the law are all the reasons why traffic accidents occur,” he said, adding that traffic law enforcement, road conditions, the placement of road signs and the quality of driving tests must be addressed.
Mr Kheng noted that 78 percent of victims who died in motorcycle accidents did not wear a helmet and were aged between 15 and 49.
Min Meanvy, secretary of state at the Public Works and Transport Ministry, noted there were 3,267 accidents nationwide in 2018, a seven percent decrease when compared to the previous year.
Accidents last year also led to 1,761 deaths and 4,770 injuries, she added. In 2017, a total of 1,780 people died in traffic accidents, while a total of 5,539 were injured.
“Most traffic accidents happened in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Preah Sihanouk,” Ms Meanvy said, noting that speeding, right of way violation, reckless overtaking, drunk driving, vehicle malfunction and road conditions were attributed as the main causes of accidents.