THE government has counted 538 total traffic collisions for the month of February, up from 407 in January – an increase that officials attributed to Sinospheric Lunar New Year celebrations.
The accidents resulted in 164 deaths, an increase of 26 over January, said Preap Chanvibol, director of the Department of Land Transport at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. In addition, there were 890 injuries stemming from the accidents, 457 of which were identified as “serious”.
“Comparing January and February, traffic accidents have increased, but this is mostly because of the Chinese New Year holiday,” he said.
He noted that the government’s February statistics would likely differ from those compiled by the Road Crash and Victim Information System,
which have yet to be released. RCVIS reported 670 accidents in February 2009.
Preap Chanvibol also said that enforcement of a regulation stipulating that motorbike drivers must wear helmets had increased.
The government is currently weighing a proposal to increase the helmet fine from 3,000 riels to 21,000 riels (about US$5), which traffic safety experts say could dramatically reduce road deaths.
There were 12.6 road fatalities per 100,000 Cambodians last year, up from 12.2 per 100,000 in 2008.