Road Accidents Down Since Advent of Traffic Law

Nearly three months after the stricter new Land Traffic Law came into force, road accidents are slightly down compared to last year, although the number of deaths resulting from accidents has not decreased, police said on Thursday.

During a meeting at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport in Phnom Penh, Him Yan, the deputy national police commissioner in charge of traffic, said it had proven difficult to compel motorists to respect the new law, which came into force on January 1 and includes harsher penalties for speeding and drunk driving and requires all motorbike passengers to wear helmets.

“During enforcement of the law, there were some challenges,” he said. “Some people ignored practicing the law, not wearing helmets, driving over the speed limit and driving under the influence of alcohol.”

Lieutenant General Yan said police had recorded 887 traffic accidents since the start of the year, down from 1,002 over the same period last year, an 11 percent decrease.

However, the number of people who died in accidents remained about the same, at 452 this year compared to 451 last year. Lt. Gen. Yan attributed the slight increase to a rise in the number of vehicles on the road but did not provide figures.

He said several recent crashes involving trucks carrying garment workers to factories contributed to the number of deaths this year.

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