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Bus companies’ role in crashes called out

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The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has warned four bus companies that unless they cause fewer traffic deaths this year than last year, they will be shut down.

Chan Dara, deputy general director of the Transport Department, said in a meeting at the National Police station on Friday that Rith Mony, Capitol, Paramount Angkor Express and GS had been issued warning letters because they were responsible for the highest number of fatalities last year.

Deaths on the road have been rising each year and surged in 2012.

“If those companies are still causing the most road deaths this year like last year, they will face closure,” Dara said. “We warned them to avoid any traffic accidents.”

According to a report from the Cambodia Road Traffic and Victim Information System, transportation companies were involved in the deaths of 1,966 of the 15,660 people reported to have died from traffic accidents last year.

National Police deputy director Yon Chunny recommended the companies re-examine their employees’ driving skills in accordance with traffic laws.

“We suggest to them to ensure their passengers’ safety is a priority,” he said.

Chunny said most traffic accidents were caused by speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and neglect of traffic laws. He also suggested that each bus be equipped with a fire extinguisher.

Sam Vichet, a service assistant at Rith Mony Transport, said after receiving a warning letter from the government the company had come up with strategies to avoid accidents.

“The company is further strengthening the safety of the passengers who choose Rith Mony by demanding all drivers learn traffic law and all buses be checked at the transportation department before driving,” Vichet said.

Phann Sopheap, director of Capitol Company, said the company checks their 180 buses before driving each day, but accidents happen anyway.

“We did not want to have crashes, but it is accidental,” Sopheap said. “We strengthen our bus technique every day, but in 2012 many traffic accidents happened. We know in some cases our company did not cause the accident.”

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