Traffic accidents remain a leading cause of injury and death in Cambodia, with collisions leaving five dead and 10 injured on an average day nationwide, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol told a major UN conference.
Chanthol, who is also National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) vice-president, attended the High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on Global Road Safety at the UN’s headquarters in New York on June 30 and July 1, held under the overall theme “The 2030 horizon for road safety: securing a decade of action and delivery”.
The minister underscored that annual crash costs may be equivalent to between 2.5 and three per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), citing a study by the UN Development Programme.
The NRSC was established to promote road safety, nationally and internationally, to prevent and reduce traffic accidents, he explained.He said that a report using data covering the period from 2010-2020, compiled by Road Crash And Victim Information System (RCVIS), listed speeding, inappropriate overtaking, failure to yield right of way, and drunk driving as the main reasons for accidents.
But the report also highlighted other contributing factors such as technical road design flaws and sub-standard vehicle conditions.
“We have stepped up enforcement of the road traffic law as well as its provisions on road safety,” he assured world leaders at the meeting.
The NRSC, in collaboration with local and international partners, is preparing a National Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, an adaptation of a UN initiative, to cut road casualties in half by 2030.
Chanthol declared that Cambodia would ramp up efforts for the success of the national plan, reflecting on shortcomings regarding the inaugural 2011-2020 edition. “We saved the lives of 4,561 people during the period, compared to our target of 7,337,” he lamented.
He stressed that reducing traffic accidents is everyone’s responsibility, and cannot be achieved by government efforts alone, adding that state institutions, the private sector, NGOs and the media must join hands to educate road users and change attitudes and behavior on the roads.