Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Road accidents spike over five-day holiday

Road accidents spike over five-day holiday

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Two vehicles are damaged after an accident on National Road 4. The National Police said there were 51 reported traffic accidents during the replacement Khmer New Year holiday, leaving 21 people dead and 70 injured. FACEBOOK

Road accidents spike over five-day holiday

There were 51 reported traffic accidents during the replacement Khmer New Year holiday, leaving 21 people dead and 70 injured. Most of the accidents occurred in Phnom Penh.

According to a report by the National Police released over the weekend, the accidents involved 59 motorbikes and 30 vehicles.

Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak told The Post on Sunday that during the five-day holiday, some citizens failed to properly follow traffic laws. The casualties break the recent trend of declining accident numbers before the holiday, when police rigorously enforced the new traffic law sub-decree throughout the country.

“This indicates the effectiveness of law enforcement and it shows that people are afraid of police more than the law. During the holiday, there were traffic police deployed at important places, but they were there to facilitate traffic and not to strengthen the law.

“We want equal law enforcement with transparency and persistency on a regular basis,” Ratanak said.

He said people have generally flouted traffic law for a long time and it is difficult to change their bad habits in a short period.

“The first thing we need to do is to let them know that law enforcement is equal and no offenders will be forgiven,” he said.

According to the National Police, the traffic accidents occurred in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Pursat, Battambang, Kandal, Takeo, Oddar Meanchey, Banteay Meanchey Preah Vihear, Svay Rieng, Kampong Speu and Kratie.

The report said 3,891 vehicle owners were stopped and fined for violating traffic law over the holiday, 2,882 of them were motorbike riders.

The new traffic law sub-decree, which increases traffic fines three to five-fold, aims to decrease the number of accidents this year.

The government felt compelled to enact the measure after the number of injuries and deaths jumped dramatically from 2018 to 2019.

Road traffic offences, the National Police said, included driving without a helmet, driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to obey traffic lights and signs.

They also included turning offences, driving overweight vehicles, driving without registration plates, using a phone while driving, driving without a licence and not wearing safety belt.


  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,