More than 240 monks on Monday prayed for peace and the safety of people travelling on National Road 7 during a ceremony in Tboung Khmum province’s Suong city.
Chhay Sokhon, deputy provincial traffic police chief, said yesterday that residents offered food to the monks during the ceremony which was also held to raise funds for novices seeking to study at the provincial Buddhist university.
“There were 245 monks who prayed for peace in the town and also for safety on the road,” he said. “The monks were not only offered food during the ceremony but also when they visited the city’s markets and surrounding villages.”
A district police officer said yesterday that accidents are common on the National Road 7 stretch in Suong city.
He could not give the exact the number of traffic accidents that have taken place so far this year, but said that there were one or two each month.
Institute for Road Safety director Ear Charya has said that such ceremonies are just a way to show the authority is paying attention to people’s safety, noting they do not really address the root cause of accidents.
“It is not wrong for Cambodians to hold the ritual, but accidents can only be reduced if the authorities study the situation and improve the condition of roads, including small ones, put up road safety signs and people drive more carefully,” he said. “To me, holding such a ritual is just nonsense and won’t reduce accidents.”
Last month, the Preah Sihanouk provincial administration held a similar ceremony along National Road 4, where a number of accidents have taken place.