A road accident early on Tuesday on Kizuna bridge in Kampong Cham province’s Veal Vong commune killed one person and injured seven others, the provincial police said on its Facebook page.
A westbound Ford and an eastbound Hyundai – each vehicle carrying four people – collided head-on at approximately 12:50am on Tuesday, killing the 25-year-old driver of the former.
Two passengers in the same vehicle sustained serious injuries while another was injured lightly. The driver of the other vehicle was severely wounded while his three passengers suffered minor injuries.
Quoting Kampong Cham provincial police chief Em Kosal, Fresh News reported that the accident occurred because the Ford driver veered off to the opposite lane.
After the accident, the two vehicles were brought to the provincial police station while the injured were sent to the provincial referral hospital, the local news outlet added.
It also said police returned the deceased’s remains to his family for final rights and the funeral ceremony.
When The Post followed up with Kosal on Tuesday, he declined to comment and said he was busy in a meeting. The Kampong Cham town police chief Ung Bun gave a similar response.
According to official statistics from the Traffic and Public Order Department at the National Police, at least 1,761 people were killed and 4,770 injured in road accidents last year.
Based on these figures, at least five people died every day on the roads. The provinces with the highest death tolls were Preah Sihanouk, Siem Reap, Kampong Thom and Phnom Penh.
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has expressed concern over the rate of traffic accidents, saying the death toll will double by 2020 if no effective preventive measures were put in place.
His statement was made at the annual road safety meeting at the ministry on January 18.
A traffic safety expert believes that drivers’ “failure to comply with the laws” and loose enforcement of rules contribute to the upward trend of road accidents.
Speaking to The Post on Tuesday, Road Safety Institute acting director Kong Ratanak called on people to “respect all traffic laws” and the relevant authorities to “intensify the enforcement of regulations”.
“It doesn’t mean that the police haven’t done their jobs, but they haven’t [enforced the rules] adequately."
“It seems like they should focus on some things which pose bigger risks such as speeding, overtaking and drink driving. I believe the number of accidents will decrease if the officers checked on these things regularly and set more safety goals,” Ratanak said.