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New Year road deaths down

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Sixty-five people were injured in road accidents over the three-day Lunar New Year, statistics released by the Traffic and Public Order Department at the National Police reveal. Heng Chivoan

New Year road deaths down

Twenty-nine people were killed and 65 injured in road accidents over the three-day Lunar New Year, statistics released on Thursday by the Traffic and Public Order Department at the National Police said.

The figures show a decline of 22 per cent compared to the same period in 2018 when 37 people died.

There were 52 traffic accidents between February 4-6, and of the 65 people who suffered non-fatal injuries, 51 were seriously hurt.

During the same three-day period in 2018, the report said, there were 54 road accidents which killed 37 people and injured 74, of which 51 were categorised as severely injured.

“Among the 29 deceased, which included two females, 23 were travelling on motorbikes, two in cars, one on a bicycle, and three were pedestrians,” the report said.

Department head Run Rath Veasna was unavailable for comment on Thursday.

Phnom Penh Municipal Police traffic office director Sem Sokunthea told The Post that traffic was quiet in the capital over the three days. However, two or three accidents occurred due to drunk driving.

“There were a couple of people injured in traffic accidents because they were drunk and were not careful on the road, but nobody was killed. Phnom Penh became quiet in the last couple of days and nothing serious happened,” he said.

Institute for Road Safety deputy director Kong Ratanak told The Post on Thursday that the problem of road safety has become a disaster with sometimes 10 people killed in traffic accidents daily in the Kingdom.

He said the issue affects everybody and traffic laws should be obeyed.

“Don’t drive after consuming alcohol. Don’t exceed the speed limit. Give priority to others, and check the quality of your vehicles before travelling."

“Particularly, law enforcement officers must stick to the letter of the law and not discriminate based on their own personal interests."

“I think this is an alarming risk that demands attention from everybody . . . Victims can lose their lives, their family members, time, money and personal property in road accidents,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen took to his Facebook page on Thursday calling for the public to respect traffic regulations.

“I ask everyone to abide by the traffic laws and give priority to other people on the roads."

“Please do not try to overtake on bridges, on small streets or while container trucks are on the same road, in order to prevent an accident that you might regret for the rest of your life – especially during Chinese New Year. Finally, I wish you all happiness and good luck,” he wrote.

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