During the three days of the Water Festival, 16 people died in traffic accidents, a reduction of six when compared to the same period last year, according to the National Police.
According to a November 9 accident report, from November 7-9, there were 27 traffic accidents nationwide. Sixteen people were killed and 44 were injured, 31 of them seriously.
National Police’s Traffic Police and Public Order Department director Heng Chantheary told The Post that the total number of accidents was down by 18 per cent compared to last year’s event.
He said that the same number of people was injured as during last year’s holiday.
“Eight of the causes were attributed to excessive speed, seven to disrespecting the right of way and four to driving on the wrong side of the road. Four were caused by racing vehicles, one was due to a reckless maneuver and three to defective vehicles. Twelve of the dead were motorcyclists, three were pedestrians and one was a passenger in a car,” he said.
He noted that nine of the deceased motorcyclists were not wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.
According to a report by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, traffic accidents in the first half of 2022 decreased by 26 per cent compared to 2019, when there were no Covid-19 restrictions. The death toll was down by 9 per cent when compared to the same period, with a decrease of 31 per cent in injuries.
Kim Pagna, director of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation in Cambodia, said that the number of accidents is a clear indicator that more action must be taken.
“It is important that we take measures to respond to the increased month on month traffic flow. In my opinion, these measures must consist of nothing more than a broader enforcement of traffic laws. This must be done more strictly, consistently and transparently, day and night,” he said.
He encouraged all members of the public – as well as institutions, both governmental and non-governmental – to contribute more to reducing deaths and injuries from traffic accidents.
“This should start with the family. For example, if we see a family member about to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, we should stop them. Parents should set good examples for their children, and workplaces and large institutions should establish firm policies around making good safety decisions on the road,” he said.