In the article “National Assembly Begins Approval of Traffic Law” (December 2), Tram Iv Tek, the transport minister, said, “There are three factors that have caused a lot of people to die: The first is speeding, the second is drunkenness, and the third is not wearing helmets.”
We must wholeheartedly agree. The neurosurgeons at the Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh have collected data on the head injury cases from 2013 to 2014. We found that 15-to-30-year olds represented the majority of the head injuries (66 percent). Males outnumbered females by 4- to-1. Fifty-six percent of the cases involved motorbike accidents, and of these motorbike accidents, 91 percent of riders did not wear helmets and 42 percent admitted to using alcohol at the time of the accident.
The intent of the laws makes sense, and our data supports this. If fully implemented, they will save lives and injuries, and in turn reduce the social and economic impact of road injuries and fatalities.
Although it is not clear how the proposed laws will be implemented and enforced, and the full impact and the effectiveness of the laws remains to be seen, the lawmakers should be commended for taking positive action in helping to protect the Cambodian people from the dangers of road travel resulting from risky behavior.
Dr. Kee B. Park
Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery
World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies