Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Traffic accidents, fatalities up in 2008: NGO

Traffic accidents, fatalities up in 2008: NGO

Traffic accidents, fatalities up in 2008: NGO

DRUNKEN driving and speeding have caused an eight percent increase in road deaths in Cambodia during the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2007.

The number of fatalities has risen from 755 people in the first half of 2007 to 818 this year, according to new figures from Handicap International Belgium's Road Traffic Accident and Victim Information System (RTAVIS).

"The number of people [who die in traffic accidents] remains high.... It is caused mostly by human factors such as fast driving, drunken driving and so forth," RTAVIS project officer, Ou Amra said.  

Another 3,458 people were seriously injured on the roads during the first six months, Ou Amra said, adding that  traffic accidents occurred mostly in Phnom Penh, where fatalities rose by 12 to 152 in the first half of 2008.

Phnom Penh's Traffic Police Chief Tin Prasoeur acknowledged that there has been an increase in accidents, with more mishaps happening at night.

"We see people, especially youths, [who] drive while they are drunk," Tin Prasoeur said.

"Until now we have not had  any intervention for these kinds of cases," he added

"We just stop them from driving until they recover from being drunk."

While Cambodia has approved new traffic laws, they are rarely enforced.

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