Thirteen people were killed over the weekend when two vehicles laden with passengers collided head-on in Kompong Cham province, police reported.
The accident, and another in Battambang province in which three siblings were killed, are two of the latest additions to a growing list of road-related mishaps.
A recent Asian Development Bank report estimated that Cambodia loses 1,017 lives to traffic accidents and suffers more than $115 million in economic losses every year.
A man and his two sisters were killed Sunday in Thmar Koul district, Battambang province, when they stopped on the road to don raincoats and their motorbike was hit by a Toyota Camry, district police Chief Koy Kosal said. Thab Kunthy, the vehicle’s driver, abandoned his car and is still at large.
The crash in Kompong Cham’s Cheung Prey district occurred Saturday after a Nissan pickup truck with a bed full of passengers swerved to avoid a pothole and suffered a blowout before careening into an oncoming van, provincial police Chief Kong Sokhon said Monday. Twelve people were killed on the spot and another victim died the next day. Another 25 people suffered injuries, many of them serious.
“The accident took place because the two trucks were driving too fast,” Kong Sokhon said. “The road is too good.”
The rapidly improving national road network has been cited as a leading cause of the high rate of traffic casualties, as it is allowing a growing population of vehicle owners with little or no training to drive at increasing speeds.
A package of road-safety laws that would make seat belts and helmets mandatory as well as require motorbike drivers to be licensed is in the works.
The government voiced concern over road safety at an Asean meeting this month, and pledged to make the problem a priority.