Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday said there were more than 3,400 traffic accidents in the Kingdom so far this year which killed 1,665 people and injured 5,212.
Speaking at a World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims event on Koh Pich, Mr Kheng noted that the number of accidents increased by 28 percent when compared with the same period last year (January to October).
Mr Kheng said there were 3,453 accidents during the first ten months of 2019, which led to 1,665 deaths, up by 151 from last year, and 5,212 injuries, up by 1,006.
He noted that on average there were about five deaths and 17 injuries per day from accidents caused mainly by failure to adhere to traffic rules, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, drowsiness or lack of vehicle maintenance.
Mr Kheng, who is also National Committee on Road Traffic Safety chairman, said the number of accidents increased despite the government’s efforts to prevent them.
“We can see that this increase in traffic accidents is a bad sign, so I would like to call on all relevant institutions to help share solutions, ideas and suggestions to address the problem,” he said.
Mr Kheng instructed all relevant officials to find the reason for the increases, noting that they should reduce accident rates using other measures such as banning alcohol sales at night, which is being done in many countries.
He said officials should also consider increasing penalties for those who hit road dividers and increase the dissemination of information on traffic laws to the public.
Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng, who also heads the Municipal Subcommittee on Road Traffic Safety, said at the event that City Hall and the subcommittee will continue to actively promote awareness of the Road Traffic Law so that all road users respect and obey them.
“Traffic accidents do not only cause the loss of property and lives, but also leave many social issues, such as disabilities, orphans and widows,” he noted. “They also cause socio-economic problems arising from the loss of properties, human resources, family members, breadwinners of families and affect the national economy.”
Song Makara, from Kampong Cham province, said at the event that his skull was injured in a 2017 accident and he was unable to continue his education in college.
“A traffic accident can happen in the blink of an eye,” he noted. “So all citizens and road users, especially new drivers, please respect traffic laws, drive carefully with mutual understanding in order to prevent yourselves, your family and others from becoming traffic accident victims.”