The Killing Roads II

Phnom Penh

Streets in Phnom Penh/Image by Adrian Whelan via Flickr

According to the data provided by the General Department of Transports, during a road safety workshop in Phnom Penh, on 31 May 2011, in
Cambodiana Hotel Phnom Penh; in 2010, 5 people died and 54 persons were injured everyday on the roads in Cambodia. 1, 6 million vehicles are officially registered (Kampuchea Thmei, 1 June 2011, page: A5). The human and technical errors contribute to:

  • 6,941 cases of traffic accidents
  • 1,816 deaths or around 5 deaths per day
  • 6,718 persons seriously injured, light injury: 9,170 persons
  • $ 270 million in damaged properties estimated
  • Not to mention about the sufferings and poverty left over for the family members, women and children and the lost of valuable human resources for the country’s economy.

The deaths toll on the roads is currently the highest in comparison to the victims caused by landmines and AIDS diseases. 5 people died or injured every week because of land mines. Currently, there are around 40, 000 people living with HIV/AIDS virus. Some years ago, landmines were the number one killer, and later on the AIDS virus. But, now the traffic accidents become quite high and many innocent people lost their life on the streets. It is estimated that the traffic accidents cost U$ 248 million of the Cambodian economy in 2010. However, only around U$ 1 million is being invested on road safety program for the same period. No wonder, the deadly effects we are facing now.

Polices try to cope up with the problem by enforcing more traffic law and installing cameras to control the speed limits. Several checkpoints were set up to enforce the implementation of this particular law. However, it is to some degree misused to extract money from road users. It depends on all of us to contribute to improve this bad situation in one way or another.

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