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Death toll on roads at more than 1,800 so far

More than 1,800 people have died on Cambodia’s roads so far this year, representing an almost 4 per cent increase in casualties compared to the same period in 2014.

Speaking yesterday, Interior Ministry public order police chief Run Rath Veasna said 1,803 people have been killed in traffic accidents with more than a week of September left to go. This time last year, 1,734 people had died – meaning almost two more people have died each week on average in 2015.

“Human error and fault is still the main factor, causing 93 per cent of traffic crashes,” Veasna said, adding that speeding, dangerous manoeuvres and drink driving were the most common causes.

But while deaths have risen, serious injuries and individual incidents have fallen, with 3,309 people badly hurt in 3,505 traffic accidents so far this year compared to 3,470 serious injuries in 3,638 accidents during the same period in 2014.

According to independent road safety specialist Chariya Ear, the rise in deaths points to a deterioration in road safety because casualties are more consistently reported than crashes or injuries.

Ear said the rise highlights the pressing need for the country’s new traffic law to be implemented.

The government has previously said it will begin enforcement in January 2016 – a year after the law was passed.

“The sooner the law is enforced, the more people we can save from road accidents,” he said.

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