Five people die and 14 are injured daily in road accidents, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said on Saturday.
Mr Kheng, also National Road Safety Committee chairman, was speaking at an event to mark the 13th World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in Pursat province.
He noted that the event is held not only to remember victims, but also to remind motorists not to risk getting hurt in accidents by driving carelessly, disobeying traffic laws, overloading vehicles or not using crash helmets or seat belts.
Mr Kheng added that the government has supported the NRSC to celebrate the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims since 2006 and such events are held at accident-prone spots.
“On average, five people die and 14 people are injured daily in accidents,” he said. “We cannot accept this and have to try to reduce the accident rate.”
Mr Kheng noted that human error contributed to 98.4 percent of accidents, of which 36 percent stemmed from speeding, 14 percent from dangerous overtaking, 14 percent from driving in the wrong direction and 12 percent from drunk driving.
“It is estimated that traffic accidents cost our government millions per year,” he said. “This does not include the cost of the consequences to those who are widowed, orphaned, become disabled, or families forced into poverty, which affects the government’s efforts to reduce poverty.”
Mr Kheng noted that during the first nine months of the year, there was a decrease of 353 accidents and 44 fatalities compared to the same period last year.
“This indicates that our citizens are gradually respecting the laws by driving more carefully, being disciplined and practising road courtesy,” he said.
Oh Nak Young, Republic of Korea Ambassador to Cambodia, said at the event that traffic accidents are different from natural disasters because these are caused by humans who can take steps to reduce them.
For this year’s event, the Korea International Cooperation Agency donated 9,000 helmets to the NRSC, of which 2,000 were given out to participants at the event; the rest will be distributed during road safety campaigns in the country.
Last week, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said at the launch of a heavy truck driving centre that traffic accidents cost Cambodia, in terms of damage to national and private assets, about $350 million per year.