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Road safety: Accidents ‘down over New Year’

The number of traffic accidents over Lunar New Year has decreased since last year due to more widespread knowledge of the upcoming traffic law, government officials and road safety experts say.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Interior, 29 people died and another 151 people were injured around Cambodia due to traffic accidents over the four-day celebration of Lunar New Year from Wednesday to Saturday.

Last year, 33 people died while 197 others were injured – 116 of them with serious injuries.

“The traffic accidents happened due to speeding drivers, drunk drivers, a lack of respect for traffic signs and overtaking vehicles,” said the Interior Ministry’s Public Order Department deputy Sok Nob. “But this year, we saw some significant decreases.”

During the festivities in 2014, a total of 98 traffic accidents occurred. Figures this year show a 21 per cent decline as the country experienced 77 traffic accidents.

One reason for this decline, road safety expert and former Global Road Safety Management country manager Kong Sovann said, is more awareness about preventative measures mentioned in the impending traffic law.

Under the law, which Sovann said might be implemented in July at the earliest, drunk drivers will face stiffer fines and moto passengers will have to wear helmets.

“I think people are paying more attention now and are more concerned of the consequences of not driving responsibly,” Sovann said.

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