Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Road safety priority for Khmer New Year

Road safety priority for Khmer New Year

Road safety priority for Khmer New Year

The Year of the Snake has made a bloody start. Forty-three people died in road accidents during the first four days of Lunar New Year celebrations, which started on February 9.

The figure is almost twice as many as the 24 dead in 2012 – according to statistics from the General Commissariat of National Police.

The body count has sparked fears about carnage during the more widely celebrated Khmer New Year in April.

Government officials from the National Road Safety Committee and other stakeholders are meeting today to discuss how best to stem the bloodshed. On the agenda will be a road-safety campaign to be held  just before the Khmer New Year – Ear Chariya, Handicap International’s Road Safety Program manager, said.

On the cards are community-level education programs like road safety workshops and helmet distribution drives.

“The number one cause of accidents here is speeding and drink driving is number two,” said Chariya.

The overloading of vehicles could also account for the higher death toll this year on the roads, Sok Nob of the Interior Ministry’s public order department said.

Statistics show that while the number of accidents held steady – 93 this year, compared to 94 in 2012 – the number of casualties were higher.

“In the past, one or two people died in a crash, but now six to seven people die,” Nob said.

Chariya added that the real problem is the lack of enforcement on the roads, especially when it comes to drink driving. In addition, revised legislation, drafted in 2011, which will require passengers on motorbikes to wear helmets, has not been passed.

Still, police here are taking steps to ensure Khmer New Year festivities go without a hitch – “thousands” of officers will be mobilised, Nob said.

 

To contact the reporter on this story: Danson Cheong at [email protected]
 

Khoun Leakhana at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Kem Sokha’s daughters slam ‘liar’ Sam Rainsy over ‘smears’

    The daughters of former opposition leader Kem Sokha hit out at Sam Rainsy on Tuesday, accusing the newly nominated “acting president” of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) of leading a “smear campaign” against their father and “repeatedly lying to the public”. The Supreme Court-dissolved

  • US Embassy urges reconciliation

    The US has urged Cambodia to restore the independence of the media, drop charges against Kem Sokha and other political prisoners, and end the prohibition of political activity by opposition parties. However, senior government officials see the request, issued by US embassy spokesman Arend C

  • Government deports 235 Chinese scammers

    THE Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior on Thursday deported 235 Chinese nationals, 35 of whom were female, via the Phnom Penh International Airport for their part in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) online money extortion scam. The deportees were arrested on November 26 over the

  • ‘Tolerant’ PM calls for ‘unity’

    In his message on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, known by its French acronym FUNSK, Prime Minister Hun Sen said for the sake of unity in the Kingdom, he is “tolerant” to those who “acknowledged their mistakes”, and