Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Holiday road deaths ‘worrying’ despite slight drop in casualties

Holiday road deaths ‘worrying’ despite slight drop in casualties

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An accident on Prek Pnov Bridge in Phnom Penh on September 13. Hong Menea

Holiday road deaths ‘worrying’ despite slight drop in casualties

The number of people killed on the Kingdom’s roads over the three days of the Pchum Ben holiday has been described as “worrying” despite the death toll being slightly down on last year.

Twenty-six people died and 80 were injured nationwide between Friday and Sunday – a decrease of two fatalities compared to last year – the National Police road traffic accident report said.

Deputy National Police chief Him Yan told The Post on Monday that two fewer people were killed in road accidents over Pchum Ben this year compared to the year before, while the number of injured was down by five.

Yan, who is also the secretary-general of the National Road Safety Committee, said the most accidents were recorded in Kandal, Kampong Cham, Kampot and Takeo provinces.

While the death toll was down on last year, where 28 people were killed, drivers continued to cause accidents by speeding and driving recklessly, he said.

The National Police said three trucks, 24 cars and 66 motorcycles were damaged in 52 reported traffic accidents.

Most were caused by speeding, drink driving and overtaking and turning dangerously, with drivers failing to respect the right of way and keeping to their lanes.

Kim Pagna, the country director of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, said the death toll on Cambodia’s roads this Pchum Ben break was still too many.

“The number of deaths is worrying despite it being down from last year’s figures. Twenty-six deaths during the three days of the Pchum Ben holiday equates to nine people being killed every day. And this does not include the many others who were injured,” Pagna said.

The measures employed by government institutions, civil society groups, the private sector and media to educate drivers, he said, had failed to significantly reduce the number of accidents.

“As the government uses educational methods to change driving habits, it should also prioritise strengthening equitable and transparent law enforcement. The number of deaths in traffic accidents would then be reduced as people’s attitudes change,” Pagna said.

As well as tightening law enforcement, the government should also introduce other measures such as improving road infrastructure and installing more traffic lights, he said.

Civil society groups also called for a ban on alcohol advertisements. If there is no blanket ban, they should at least be stopped during the main national holidays, Pagna said.

Meanwhile, Ey Sokha, the Preah Sihanouk provincial deputy police chief in charge of traffic, said three people were killed on Monday in a three-vehicle smash.

A taxi carrying seven passengers, including two young women, collided with a lorry transporting stone and another carrying sand while overtaking in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nop district, Sokha said.

Police are yet to identify the dead, who were passengers in the taxi, he said.

The police report said the crash was caused when the 26-year-old driver of a Hyundai Starex minivan taxi travelling from Kampot to Preah Sihanouk province attempted to overtake the lorry in front of it, Sokha said.

The taxi hit a lorry travelling down the hill in the opposite direction. The two vehicles then smashed into the other truck.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • PM: Do not defile Tonle Sap swamp forest or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered police to arrest anyone – including government officials – involved with the deforestation of the flooded forests surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake because it is an area important to the spawning of many species of fish, among other reasons. Speaking in a