Sixteen garment workers died and hundreds of others were injured in more than 800 traffic accidents during the first half of the year, according to a National Social Security Fund report released on Tuesday.
The report was released during a workshop with Public Works Ministry officials and NGO representatives to train garment workers and their drivers on road safety.
The NSSF report said there were 815 traffic accidents in the first six months of 2018, a 28 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.
A total of 882 people were injured, a 45 percent decrease over last year’s data, while 16 people were killed, a decrease of 36 percent compared to last year’s data.
NSSF deputy director Sum Sophorn said on Tuesday that a majority of the accidents were attributed to reckless driving, noting that a programme has been set in place to instruct drivers to obey traffic rules.
“NSSF has a programme to train truck drivers to obey the law and urge them to obtain a driver’s license in order to reduce road accidents,” Mr Sophorn said.
Kim Panha, AIP Foundation in Cambodia director, said reckless driving is an imperative issue that has to be addressed.
Mr Panha said some drivers perform risky overtaking manoeuvres, ignore traffic laws, overload their trucks and even drive while under the influence.
“Sometimes, the drivers speed in order to reach factories on time so they can rush home,” he said.
Min Manavy, a Public Works Ministry secretary of state and a member of the General Secretariat National Road Safety Committee, said that the government is committed to reducing traffic accidents.
Ms Manavy noted that the government has set up a training programme in order to curb the rate of accidents involving workers.
“In addition, we are educating drivers, checking licenses, inspecting trucks and testing for drugs and alcohol,” she said.
On the same day as the publication of the report, at least eight garment workers were injured in a traffic accident in Kampong Speu province’s Samraong Tong district.
Police said a truck carrying 46 workers to their factory slammed into a statue outside a pagoda after a motorbike in front of it suddenly turned into the pagoda, causing the truck driver to veer off the road and crash.
In May, the NSSF reported 20 percent of 4,362 garment factory drivers transporting workers to their factories lacked licenses.
It said that the NSSF would cooperate with relevant institutions in order to educate drivers and increase their driving skills in order to decrease traffic accidents.