Improving road safety in Cambodia: article by U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia

October 2, 2014

Just one example of the terrible traffic that plagues Cambodia’s capital.

When I sit in Phnom Penh’s traffic, I watch with astonishment as motorbikes (motos), tuk-tuks, bicycles, and pedestrians compete for space on the road with cars and trucks. Cambodians are very resourceful at navigating through traffic, but that has not stopped the country’s number of fatal road accidents from rapidly rising over the past decade. Each year, traffic accidents in Cambodia kill nine times more people than malaria, dengue fever, HIV/AIDS, and landmines combined. As the volume of traffic continues to increase, many people recognize an urgent need to improve road safety and strengthen the traffic management system to support Cambodia’s economic growth.

Keeping in mind the tragic statistics that I mentioned above, road safety must be an important consideration when managing a transportation system. Many traffic deaths can be prevented by improving road design and raising safety awareness. For example, the simple practice of wearing helmets can save the lives of many moto drivers and passengers, who account for three-quarters of all the traffic deaths in Cambodia. To help put a stop to such unnecessary road crash injuries and fatalities, the U.S. government is implementing a two-year program on helmet safety with the Asia Injury Prevention Foundation.

–Ambassador William (Bill) E. Todd, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia
Read the full article here.

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