The Asian Injury Prevention Foundation called for the inclusion of traffic law education in the high school curriculum to instill the importance of road safety among the youth and decrease road accidents in the Kingdom.
“It is important for high school students from Grades 10 to 12 to be more aware of traffic laws and regulations, driving standards and the rate of road accidents in the Kingdom so they can have a better understanding of and appreciation for road safety,” said AIP country director for Cambodia Kim Panha during an interview with a local media outlet.
Major General Ty Long, deputy chief of the Department of Traffic Police and Public Order, said the people’s disregard for the law is the main culprit in traffic accidents.
“We can say that 33 percent of accidents happened due to speeding, 27 percent for failing to adhere to traffic rules, 13 percent for not using the right lane, 10 percent because of reckless overtaking, nine percent due to improper turning, four percent because of driving while inebriated, three percent from vehicular malfunctions while one percent can be attributed to the driver falling asleep.”
Mr Panha said to effectively implement the law, the government needs to ensure everyone, especially the youth, is well-informed with the law and safety regulations.
“The effective enforcement of traffic laws requires the participation of the public. If the instruction for road safety rules and regulations can be started as early as high school, it would be better absorbed by the students and contribute to a decline in traffic accidents in Cambodia,” he added.
According to a report by the National Road Safety Committee, a total of 4,121 road accidents were reported nationwide in 2019, resulting in 1,981 fatalities and 6,141 injured. The figures revealed a 26-percent increase in road accidents compared with 2018, with a 12-percent rise in fatalities and 29-percent increase in casualties.
Primary reasons for the accidents included speeding, overtaking, drink driving and violating traffic laws. Other causes included narrow road structures, increased transportation demand, damaged or lack of traffic control signages, lack of sidewalk management and limited law enforcement.
The NRSC report noted that an average of 5.4 people die every day on the road, with most deaths reported in the capital at 348, followed by Preah Sihanouk province with 149 and Kandal province with 143.