Officers will continue to tighten enforcement of road traffic laws, in a bid to increase public safety and minimise casualties. Offences that will be targeted include speeding, drunk driving and failure to wear a helmet or seatbelt. Fines will be issued and demerit points handed to drivers who flaunt the law.

Min Manvy, secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport and secretary-general of the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC), spoke to reporters on February 28, following a meeting with relevant state institutions and civil social organisations.

She said the authorities are cooperating with partner organisations to conduct outreach education to road users, and would step up these activities as the Khmer New Year and Southeast Asian (SEA) Games approached.

“Right now we are working hard, but as these large events draw nearer, we will accelerate our work. We are working with several partners, including the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP), who we have worked closely with for quite some time. We will take our educational campaign to the provinces and continue to tighten law enforcement,” she said.

AIP country director Kim Pagna said the introduction of demerit points has made a significant contribution to changing driver’s attitudes, deterring them from breaking the law. This has a direct effect on reducing casualties on the Kingdom’s roads.

“I encourage the authorities to keep the demerit point system in place. Strict enforcement should focus on specific roads that have high accident rates, or on risk factors like speeding, dangerous overtaking or driving under the influence,” he said.

“It appears that traffic accidents have increased this year, with eight or nine people killed on the road on a typical day. Of course, it important to realise that the number of registered vehicles increases year on year, with a total of nearly 500,000 now on the road. The rejuvenation of the tourist industry has also seen an increase in traffic,” he continued.

He said that the key to reducing the accident rate is strict law enforcement, and that it must be done in a comprehensive manner.

“Enforcement must be transparent and consistent. It needs to be enforced identically across the Kingdom,” he said.