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Road deaths continue to plague Kingdom

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
A police officer removes the helmet from a traffic accident victim. KT/Chor Sokunthea

There were more than 3,000 traffic accidents resulting in nearly 2,000 fatalities and more than 5,000 injuries from November last year until November this year, according to a report obtained yesterday.

The report by the Interior Ministry’s Traffic Police and Public Order Department stated that from November 11, 2017 until November 10 this year there were 3,430 accidents, resulting in 1,932 people dying and 5,159 being injured, 3,168 of them seriously.

It said that the most accidents occurred in Phnom Penh with 649 cases, followed by Kandal province with 233 cases, Preah Sihanouk province with 218, Battambang province with 204, Kampong Cham province with 183, Kratie province with 177 and Kampot province with 170.

The report noted that 3,530 motorbikes, 2,310 cars, SUVs and trucks, and 255 vehicles of other types, were damaged in the accidents.

The report added that 2,487 motorbike drivers were injured in the accidents while not wearing helmets.

It also showed that 39 percent of motorists involved in the accidents were speeding, 15 percent were drunk, six percent were sleeping and one percent beat traffic lights.

Kong Ratanak, Institute for Road Safety deputy director, said yesterday that thousands of motorists are involved in accidents yearly, noting that road safety is not improving in the Kingdom.

He linked the high rate of accidents to the increase in the number of vehicles on the road and noted that most accidents and fatalities happened along national roads.

“Traffic accidents seem to be like a disease that the government needs to find the right medicine to treat,” he said. “The government and all stakeholders should continue to work together to reduce them.”

Mr Ratanak said that the institute has noticed that the government and private sector is working hard to try to lessen the number of traffic accidents in the Kingdom.

He said the government and donor partners should spend more on road safety training and education because road safety programmes don’t have enough funds.

“We see that the number of fatalities due to traffic accidents is more than people dying from AIDS or other diseases, but funding for traffic training and education is still low,” Mr Ratanak added.

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