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Countermeasures to reduce road deaths, injuries

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
A police officer provides a motorist with a helmet during a safety campaign. KT/Siv Channa

Officials from the Ministry of Public Works and Transport yesterday urged the public and relevant authorities to jointly cooperate in the reduction of road traffic fatalities and injuries in the Kingdom in a bid to meet the 2030 global road safety agenda.

A workshop, through the collaboration of Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Transport Ministry, was held yesterday in Phnom Penh to tackle road safety concerns in Cambodia.

The event also saw the sharing of experience between Japanese road safety experts and Cambodian traffic officers.

Transport Ministry secretary of state Min Manavy said road accidents in the Kingdom remain a prime concern of the government due to the high number of related fatalities, injuries and property damages reported every day.

Ms Manavy said, as a countermeasure, the government is looking to increase traffic fines to compel motorists to abide by traffic regulations. “When the fines are increased, people will be more wary of breaking the law,” she said.

She called on motorists to obey traffic laws and wear helmets given that the majority of traffic-related deaths were due to riders and pillion passengers not wearing helmets.

This, she said, is part of the Kingdom’s efforts to reach Vision Zero, or no road deaths and injuries, by 2030.

“Our goal is to continually reduce the toll of road traffic casualties and injuries until we reach Vision Zero. The public and traffic authorities must jointly work together toward the realisation of this goal,” she said.

A report from the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) said there were 4,121 road accidents last year. Of these 1,981 victims died and 6,131 were injured. The number marked a significant rise from the same period in 2018 which recorded 3,267 accidents, leaving 1,721 dead and 4,760 injured.

Of those killed last year, 78 percent involved riders without helmets. Speeding and violation of traffic laws were identified as the main culprits in traffic accidents, accounting for 38 percent and 23 percent of the cases, respectively.

JICA Cambodia Office chief representative Yuichi Sugano said an average of five people die every day in the Kingdom from traffic accidents – an alarming figure which he said the public and relevant authorities must deal with.

He said Minister of Interior and NRSC chairman Sar Kheng set 2020 as the year to strengthen traffic law enforcement.

“In order to further mitigate traffic accidents and reduce casualties, JICA is determined to continue its commitment in promoting road safety in Cambodia,” said Mr Sugano.

He added JICA is planning to launch a new technical cooperation project this year to help boost the government’s momentum in reducing road traffic accidents.

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