THE first nine months of 2009 saw a modest increase in traffic fatalities over the same period last year, from 1,179 to 1,244, the Ministry of Interior reported on Wednesday.
Keo Savin, director of the Land Transport Department at the Ministry of Public Works, said the higher death toll reflected an increase in the number of drivers. “When there are more vehicles, there are more fatalities”, he said.
Pinpointing an accurate number of road deaths has, however, proved problematic.
The Ministry of Interior’s statistics were compiled from police reports alone, said Keo Savin, who added that figures might differ from those published by Handicap International’s Road Crash and Victim Information System (RCVIS), which also includes information from private clinics and state hospitals.
Sem Panhavuth, manager of the RCVIS, said that from 2007 to 2008, traffic deaths per 10,000 vehicles fell significantly from 17.8 to 15.1. He warned, however, that Cambodia would probably miss its goal of reducing the number of road deaths to seven per 10,000 registered vehicles by 2010.
“This is a good sign we’re reducing mortality rates, but we’re still concerned we won’t meet the target that the country – as well as ASEAN – wants,” he said.