Road Deaths Increase 12%, but Accidents Down

Road fatalities increased by 12 percent this year, but the number of road accidents decreased compared to last year, the director of the Ministry of Public Work and Transport’s road transport department said yesterday.

Preap Chanvibol said there were 1,731 road-related deaths so far this year compared to 1,545 in all of 2010. But he noted a drop in the number of overall accidents from 5,088 in 2010 to 4,607 so far this year.

“One of the main contributing factors for accidents is speed, which accounted for 50 percent of accidents,” Mr Chanvibol said. “About 12 to 13 percent of drivers got drunk and drove, while 16 percent of accidents were caused by careless driving,” he added. Amendments to the traffic law are currently being debated.

Mr Chanvibol said one amendment, if passed, would see road fines increased fivefold. National Road Safety Committee Deputy Chief Touch Chankosal said.

“In 2010, traffic accidents caused our country to lose $279 million…. So all drivers have to wear a helmet all the time; do not drive too fast and drive without drinking alcohol, so traffic accidents will decrease.”

Meanwhile, four men died in the early hours of yesterday morning on National Road 4 in Kompong Speu province, military police said. A fifth man was seriously injured in the collision.

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