The transport ministry and the operator of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway have renewed calls for people to respect road traffic laws and follow safety norms while travelling on the high-speed road, as well as to properly inspect their vehicles before every trip.

This comes after a series of incidents on the expressway involving cars either breaking down or catching fire.

“Do not drive faster than the speed limit and properly check your vehicle’s condition before driving on the road,” the ministry said in a March 19 statement.

Notable violations include going over the speed limit, unsafe lane-changing and even wrong-way driving, the ministry said.

The call followed a meeting led by transport minister Sun Chanthol to review the progress of expressway work, with representatives of the operator in attendance.

Kim Pagna, country director for the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP), chalked up a sizeable portion of expressway violations to limited understanding of traffic laws and norms, as well as bad driving habits.

“To avoid possible accidents, the ministry and the company have to run all of this by people at toll booths before letting drivers use the expressway. The ministry should set up a mobile app that signals to drivers when approaching high-risk areas,” he said.

He suggested that they install more speed cameras, similar to those along National Road 3, and provide fast ambulance services in the event of an emergency.

They should also keep instructing locals not to cut the barbed wire fences to cross the expressway, Pagna opined.

According to the ministry, during the four months from November 2022 to February 2023, a total of 1,413,906 trips were made on the expressway, generating $11 million in revenue.