At least 16 people died and 78 were injured in road accidents over the three-day Pchum Ben holidays from September 16-18.
Government officials and traffic organisations said the numbers were an improvement on previous years.
National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun said the number of accidents decreased by 25 per cent compared to 2019. The number of deaths was 10 fewer, a decrease of 38 per cent. The number of injured victims fell by two.
In the 16 days from the first day of the Pchum Ben festival – September 3-18, there were 165 traffic accidents in which 74 people were killed and 274 injured.
“The traffic situation this year was better than in previous years. Overall, we have successfully ensured security, safety and public order in the 16 days of Pchum Ben,” Kim Khoeun said.
Accidents were mainly caused by speeding, disrespecting the right of way, overtaking in dangerous situations and careless turns, he said. The highest numbers of fatalities were recorded in Phnom Penh, and Kampong Thom, Kandal, Pursat and Takeo provinces.
Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak said many drivers still do not obey traffic laws, but the situation seems to be better than before.
Ratanak told The Post: “I think the situation seems a bit better than in previous years because, along the roads that I’ve travelled, there were not as many accidents as in previous years. It’s still not as good as we hoped for.”
Ratanak said accidents couldn’t be identified by a single factor alone because generally, accidents often involve several factors such as driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, rough road conditions and weather.
He said if drivers obeyed the law, adhere to safety rules and do not drink alcohol and drive, then there would not be many accidents.
Minister of Interior and chairman of the National Road Safety Committee Sar Kheng, said last week that the number of accidents in the first eight months of the year had declined compared to the same period last year.
The 667 cases recorded in the eight months was a 24 per cent drop, while the 215 deaths marked a 16 per cent decline and the 1,010 injuries were 24 per cent fewer.