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Traffic deaths up on last year

TRAFFIC accidents killed more than 100 people in Cambodia last month, a 19 percent rise from November of last year, a government statement said yesterday.

At least 131 people died as a result of traffic accidents last month, up from 110 people in the same month last year, according to Him Yan, director of the Interior Ministry’s department of public order.

The number of accidents also increased from 425 in November last year to 494 last month, he said.

Him Yan said that the majority of accidents were caused by the carelessness of drivers and their failure to obey traffic laws, and in particular, drivers’ propensity to drive too fast.

“Ninety percent of the traffic accidents are caused by human errors. They are [the result of] negligence,” he said.

“Increasing traffic has also trigged more accidents”, he said.

Him Yan added that traffic from the large holiday crowds, particularly for this year’s Water Festival, which drew an estimated 3 million people to Phnom Penh, also played a role in this year’s spike in accidents.

Som Socheata, road safety programme manager at Handicap International Belgium, said respect for traffic laws in Cambodia remains limited.

She said that a significant number of accidents are alcohol-related.

“Besides speeding, another cause [of traffic accidents] is driving under the influence of alcohol, [responsible for] between 15 and 20 percent” of accidents, she said.

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