Holiday Accident Toll Falls

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
People packed into a van making their way to their home provinces to celebrate the Pchum Ben holiday. KT/Mai Vireak

Almost 30 people were killed and nearly 140 injured in traffic accidents over the five-day Pchum Ben holiday weekend, showing a slight decrease compared with previous years.
 
National deputy police chief Kirth Chantharith said yesterday there were 75 traffic accidents from Wednesday to Sunday which caused 28 deaths and 139 injuries, 87 of which were serious and required urgent medical attention.
 
Mr. Chantharith said the figures were substantially less than the totals from last year, when 109 traffic accidents resulted in the deaths of 45 people and 218 injuries. Motorcycles were the main culprit in most traffic mishaps, accounting for 68 percent of all accidents. Cars were only involved in 32 percent of accidents, the majority of which – at 36 percent – were due to speeding.
 
Dangerous overtaking accounted for 16 percent of accidents and drunk driving came in just below at 15 percent. Last year, police said 42 percent of the accidents were caused by high-speed driving, 11 percent when overtaking and eight percent by drunk driving.
 
He said traffic accident deaths and injuries were reduced this year because police made an effort to remind drivers that it was illegal to have people riding on the roofs of cars, overload vehicles with passengers and drive dangerously.
 
Some people complained of massive traffic jams on the main national roads throughout the full two-week holiday, and Mr. Chantharith said police were learning from this year’s mistakes and preparing for next year by tossing around ideas such as road barriers and signs to reduce
gridlock.
But his main hope is for cameras to be put along roads so residents can see who is committing road offenses.
 
“We will take legal action against those who do not comply with the law by putting cameras in towns to take pictures and we will post them on social networks so that people can see their bad example. We will organize a working group to punish them in the town directly,” he said.
 
According to a traffic report released by the National Police, road accidents happened in Prey Veng, Banteay Meanchey, Takeo, Kampong Cham, Kandal, Preah Vihear, Preah Sihanouk, Svay Rieng, Siem Reap, Kratie, Kampong Thom, Kampong Speu and Pursat provinces.
 
Police also noted that the number of fires during the holiday was down, as only one occurred this year. There were nine fires last year.

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