Police Ask Companies to Register Drivers as Road Deaths Rise

Following an increase in deaths caused by company drivers overtaking, speeding, drifting off to sleep or driving drunk, the National Police has called for the cooperation of nearly 40 businesses in keeping better records of their employees, according to an official.

On Wednesday morning at its Phnom Penh headquarters, the National Police held a meeting with private passenger car firms and delivery companies to tackle the problem, Run Rathveasna, director of the traffic police and public order department, said.

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One of fatal crash scenes on Monivong Boulevard in March in Phnom Penh. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

“Now, we want all of the companies to send us the identities of their company’s drivers to keep a record in our system,” he said. “It will be helpful if they escape the scene of accidents or commit an offense.”

Companies will be expected to log which of their drivers are using company vehicles before each trip so police can use their records in an investigation, he said. In the past, companies have also used word of mouth to recruit drivers without carrying out thorough background checks or ensuring they have drivers’ licenses, increasing the likelihood of accidents, he added.

A National Police report released on Wednesday claimed there were 38 more deaths caused by professional drivers of vans, buses and delivery trucks in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, but did not give the actual numbers for each period.

Lieutenant General Rathveasna said he could not recall the figures either.

Kok Van, assistant to the general manager of Capitol Tours Cambodia, welcomed the new policy, as his company already followed strict procedures.

“Our company never has a problem of sleepiness, because we don’t have night-time [services], and we always check the driver before he leaves to see if he is drunk,” he said, adding that all of the company’s estimated 200 drivers are already on record with traffic police.

But according to Chhim Chomnan, general manager of Sorya bus company in Phnom Penh, both companies and the police need to share responsibility to cut accidents and fatalities.

“We can only inspect the driver or vehicle before leaving the station,” he said. “We can’t control when they are driving along the road—that’s up to the police.”

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