In the first year of the country’s new traffic law, police recorded a more than 10 percent reduction in accidents and fatalities, and reported collecting just over $5 million in traffic fines, according to the latest National Road Safety Committee report.
Traffic-related accidents as of the second week of this month had declined by nearly 12 percent; fatalities were down about 14 percent; and injuries dropped 9 percent, compared to the same 50-week period last year, says the report, released on Monday.
The decreases were attributed to enforcement of the traffic law, which was implemented in January and amended on Monday.
“For one year of law enforcement, it has been effective in that people have respected the law, but we are still concerned about the number of fatalities,” said Run Rathveasna, director of the National Police’s public order and traffic police department. “We have to strengthen law enforcement in order to lower fatalities.”
Police completed roadside inspections of more than 9 million vehicles this year, including about 5.4 million motorbikes—the majority of the vehicles on the road, the report says.
About 1.4 million drivers were found to have violated traffic laws. Nearly 600,000 were let off with warnings and about 813,000, including some 553,000 motorbike drivers, paid fines totaling nearly 20.5 billion riel, or about $5.1 million. No comparison figure was provided for last year.
More than 56,600 drivers were caught speeding this year, while about 14,800 people were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, the report says. Of those, 553 were sent to court.
Lieutenant General Rathveasna said speeding, overtaking and drunk driving were the main causes of road fatalities. Strengthened law enforcement has helped, but “it is not enough to have only police enforce the law,” he said. “We have to join together to prevent traffic accidents.”
Ear Chariya, director of the Institute for Road Safety, said authorities should refocus on the two violations: speeding and drunk driving.