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Cambodia gets road safety data right

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THE World Health Organization (WHO) was part of a partnership that developed the road traffic injury information system in Cambodia. The system began in 2004; it was known as the Road Traffic Accident and Victim Information System.

According to a WHO press release, one of the objectives of the Cambodian National Road Safety Action Plan is to set up a road traffic injury data collection system. “To address coordination and discrepancy problems of existing databases, in early 2004, Handicap International Belgium, in collaboration with the Cambodian Red Cross, proposed to the ministries of Interior, Health, and Public Works and Transport to assist them to develop a new system, based on a standardized and more detailed data collection form.”

The system aimed to provide “government and development stakeholders in Cambodia with accurate, continuous and comprehensive information on road traffic injuries and victims.” According to the WHO, the system collected, centralized, analyzed, and disseminated information provided by three different sources: public hospitals, private clinics, and traffic police.

In 2004, information was collected from 11 hospitals and private clinics in Phnom Penh and at the Phnom Penh traffic police. By 2010, what is now known as the Road Crash and Victim Information System (RCVIS) was being fed data from “100% of police districts and 65% of hospitals,” report E.M. Parker et al. in a 2014 study.

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According to the abstract of their study, the Cambodian government uses RCVIS data extensively for road safety planning purposes. E.M. Parker et al. found the system timely; annual reports are disseminated within 10 months to more than 250 stakeholders. They conclude that the system “provides a strong foundation for the surveillance of road crash injuries and fatalities in Cambodia.”

The drunk driving data collected in Cambodia is quite in-depth. Here are some of the key findings in the 2013 report:

• Drunk driving is the second leading cause of road crash fatalities in 2013. It accounts for 15% of road deaths.

• Drunk driving accounts for 23% of fatalities on local roads, 15% of deaths on provincial roads, and 13% of fatalities on national roads.

• The number of alcohol-related fatalities peak at 6 to 7 p.m.

• The percentage of fatalities during nighttime (69%) is more than double that during daytime (31%).

• 75% of all at-fault drivers were aged between 15 and 34. — Dinna Louise C. Dayao





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