Over the first two days of the Lunar New Year celebrations, at least eight people were killed and 47 injured in road accidents across the country as Prime Minister Hun Sen called for caution while driving and with fire.

Road accidents across the country on January 22 caused five deaths and 26 serious injuries. According to the National Road Traffic Accident data released by the National Police’s Traffic Police and Public Order Department, the deaths and injuries were the result of 20 separate accidents.

On January 21, the eve of the Lunar New Year, five traffic accidents occurred, killing three people and injuring 14 others, including 10 with serious injuries.

These accidents occurred in the capital and four provinces: Kampong Speu, Pursat, Ratanakkiri and Stung Treng.

During the celebrations, Kampong Speu province also had a case of a car fire on National Road 51, but it did not cause danger to human life, just severe damage to the vehicle.

On the morning of January 22, Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote on his Facebook page that on the second day of the Lunar New Year, there were people who did not travel, tourists and people having parties at home.

“I’m taking the opportunity to play golf at a course in Cambodia. Please be careful of traffic accidents and fires,” he said.

For the accidents, Yong Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, said that the accidents are a great loss for society as a whole, both economically and as well as losing human resources, and in general the accidents were usually caused by alcohol use and driving without respecting traffic laws.

Kim Eng said that the relevant ministries and institutions, especially the Ministry of Interior, as well as the National Road Safety Committee, should take some measures.

“These measures include regular alcohol testing, but if alcohol testing is not regularly done on drivers it will not prevent traffic accidents. Therefore, better alcohol control is a contribution to reducing alcohol consumption and reducing traffic accidents,” he said.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun could not be reached for comment on January 22.