PHNOM PENH, May 11 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of road accidents has become the No.1 killer in Cambodia among those of HIV/AIDS and mine casualties, Tram Iv Tek, Cambodian minister of public work and transport, said on Wednesday.
He added that the country lost 279 million U.S. dollars in road accidents in 2010, an increase of 13 percent compared to the cost in 2009 of 248 million U.S. dollars.
"It's a great loss of money for Cambodia and it's a major barrier for the country's efforts in economic and social development," the minister said during the launching ceremony on the decade of action for road safety (2011-2020).
"Moreover, the accidents have left a lot of orphans, widows and tens of thousands of disabled people every year."
In 2010, there had been 18,300 road accident victims. Of the figure, 1,816 people were killed and 16,400 people were injured, he said, adding that 70 percent of the deaths were motorcycle drivers.
"Averagely, five people were killed a day in this country, the road crashes have become the first largest danger for Cambodia -- it's higher than the death toll of HIV/AIDS and mine casualties," he said.
Jeroen Stol, country director of Handicap International Belgium, said that unless additional actions are taken, the number of fatalities in Cambodia will increase every year up to 3,200 by 2020.
Cambodia has committed to reducing the number of road fatalities in 2020 by 30 percent (or reducing to 2,240 fatalities), according to the decade of action road safety plan (2011-2020).
Editor: Xiong Tong