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Traffic deaths still plague Kingdom

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
A police officer directs traffic. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Despite an increase in traffic law enforcement and awareness, traffic deaths continued to plague the country during the first six months of 2018.

A National Police general department of traffic and public order report published yesterday said that 1,633 traffic accidents lead to 930 deaths in the first half of 2018. In the same period last year, 1,914 traffic accidents lead to 931 deaths.

“The major causes of accidents are speeding, fatigue and drunk driving,” the report said, adding that most traffic accidents happened in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal, Preah Sihanouk and Battambang.

Institute for Road Safety director Ear Chariya said that even though the number of traffic accidents has slightly decreased, the data shows that too many Cambodians are still losing their lives along the Kingdom’s roads.

The number of traffic deaths has remained the same year over year. KT/Chor Sokunthea

“The number of those that died in traffic accidents in Cambodia is worrisome,” Mr Chariya said. “Thousands of people dead and injured, of which some people became disabled, affecting their jobs; it’s a serious burden for families.”

He added that every year, Cambodians suffered $400 million in damages, affecting the economic well-being of families and the nation overall.

Em Tith, deputy chief of the public order department, said that despite an increase in traffic law education and enforcement, fatal accidents were still occurring.

“In some cases, the driver did not obey the law or was not cautious while driving,” Mr Tith said. “It destroys the lives of many.”

In 2017, 1,780 people died in traffic crashes and another 5,539 were injured

Just last month, a family of four on a motorbike died after being struck by a vehicle on National Road 6 in Siem Reap province.​Also last month, the country was gripped by a fatal crash that claimed the life of Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s wife Ouk Phalla and left him hospitalised in Thailand.

The accident occurred on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk province after a taxi crossed into the Prince’s lane while trying to overtake a vehicle. The head-on collision left scores injured and resulted in the taxi driver being jailed on careless driving charges.

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