A National Police report showed that there was an increase in the number of people killed in road accidents in 2019, with the authorities recording 1,981 deaths last year.
The report, accessed by VOA Khmer on Thursday, showed that there were 4,121 accidents in 2019, resulting in almost 2,000 deaths and 3,919 people with serious injuries. This compared to 3,267 road accidents in 2018 and 1,761 deaths.
Mann Sophanna, who works at Department of Traffic Police and Public Order, said there had been an increase in people driving rashly or under the influence, which was made worse by a significant increase in vehicles on Cambodian roads.
“We have implemented the law, with legal restrictions driving under the influence, rash driving, enforced speed limits,” he said, adding that there was a significant increase in traffic violations last year.
In November, Interior Minister Sar Kheng seemed almost hopeless at the ministry’s efforts to curb road accidents and deaths, making a call for any stakeholders to provide new solutions for the issue.
Government forecasts made in 2011 pegged traffic accidents to increase to 3,200 deaths in 2020, if additional measures are not taken to curb the rise in fatalities. However, the government, at the time, hoped to enforce interventions that would limit road deaths to around 1,600 this year.
Kong Ratanak, acting director of the Institute for Road Safety, said there was little budget allocated to mitigate traffic accidents, weak law enforcement of existing laws and citizen apathy to following road rules.
He added that the removal of driving license requirements for motorcycles under 125 cc and increase in cases of driving under the influence were making the situation worse.
“Some citizens themselves refuse to participate [in following the law] because they rely on the intervention culture, where they understand only after they have to pay a fine,” he said.