Council Approves Nat’l Road Safety Committee

The Council of Ministers ap­proved a draft subdecree on Fri­day to create a National Road Safe­ty Committee to help combat the increasing number of road accidents.

Road accidents caused more than 1,000 fatalities last year and are increasing by 15 percent every year, Jean Van Wetter, road safety project coordinator for Hand­icap International, said on Sun­day. He said more than 75 percent of casualties are motorbike drivers and passengers.

Officials on Friday said the committee will be led by Minister of Pub­lic Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and will include members from the ministries of transport, interior, health and education.

“The objective of the [committee] would be to make the minis­tries work together,” Van Wetter said Sunday.

The committee needs about $38 million per year to implement its ac­tion plan, Chom Iek, secretary of state at the Ministry of Pub­lic Works and Transport, said on Fri­day.

Its budget would be part of the national budget approved by the National Assembly. The committee would also raise funds from the donor community, he added.

“We have thought about this is­sue for years, but it was stuck. Now we push to get its approval from the Council of Ministers,” he said.

One of the first tasks the committee would tackle would be finalizing a new traffic law that would clarify who is responsible in a traffic accident, Van Wetter said.

“The existing law is a bit messy. It’s not so complete,” he said. “A new law will make penalties, fines in the case of infractions, more clear.”


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