Minister of Interior Sar Kheng urged citizens to adhere to the traffic laws and the authorities to continue enforcing them, noting that despite a 26 per cent decrease in the road toll in the first four months of this year, road users still need to exercise more care behind the wheel.
Sar Kheng, who is also chairman of the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC), made the call while presiding over the celebrations of the 14th National Road Safety Week in Kandal province’s Takhmao town, just outside the capital, on May 25.
He expressed his appreciation to the leaders and officials of each of the institutions that had contributed to the fall in fatalities, whether through law enforcement, public awareness or emergency medical care.
He also thanked the drivers and motorcyclists who had contributed to the road safety movement through their conscientious use of the Kingdom’s roads and highways.
“These contributions have significantly reduced the accident rate. In fact, when compared to 2022, in the first four months of this year, overall reported accidents were down by 154 incidents, the equivalent of 13 per cent. Reported injuries fell by 301, or 18 per cent, but most importantly, 180 less people lost their lives on the road, a drop of 26 per cent,” he noted.
Despite the declines, Sar Kheng urged road users to drive responsibly and warned authorities to avoid using traffic laws as the basis of personal gain.
“Although accidents are occurring at a lower rate than before, they are still happening every day. I would like to see all traffic units working together to reduce the rate by a further 50 per cent,” he said.
He also issued a general reminder to all road users that speed limits are in place for a reason and should be respected, along with other traffic laws.
Kong Sophorn, Kandal provincial governor and president of the provincial road safety sub-committee, noted that thanks to strict law enforcement, traffic accidents had fallen by 44 per cent in Kandal in the same period.
Kong Sovann, founder and adviser of youth and road safety organisation CamSafe, heralded the reduction in traffic accident statistics, noting that he believed it was the result of road users heeding the calls of the government to respect one another and the rules of the road.
He renewed calls for increased public awareness campaigns, especially in traffic accident hot spots.
“Globally, success in reducing traffic accidents comes from two key points – education and strengthened law enforcement. These two points are followed by driver training and improvements to road infrastructure,” he said.
Sar Kheng noted that a new draft traffic law has been approved by the NRSC, but must go through the Ministry of Justice to determine the penalties and fines, and then to the literature committee to ensure it is grammatically correct.
He urged Touch Chankosal, secretary of state at the transport ministry and chair of the working group charged with drafting the law, to expedite the process and ensure the bill make it to the Council of ministers for approval before the end of the current government mandate.