Road fatalities in Cambodia rose 6 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period last year, but the total number of accidents dropped slightly, an Interior Ministry official said yesterday.
Hun Samnang, chief of traffic accident records at the Interior Ministry’s public order department, said that 455 people had died in traffic accidents between Jan 1 and March 31. A further 1,435 people were seriously injured, while 1,279 received minor injuries in road accidents, he said. Mr Samnang said there were 1,544 accidents recorded in the first quarter, down 2 percent from the previous year.
The crashes involved 1,706 motorbikes, 523 cars and 152 trucks, while 201 pedestrians were also involved in accidents.
According to the statistics provided by Mr Samnang, men were far more likely to be involved in fatal traffic accidents than women, with 368 of the 455 people killed on the roads being male. Nearly 2,200 men suffered either serious or minor injuries in crashes, compared to just 636 women.
Sann Socheata, Cambodian Road Safety Program Manager for Handicap International Belgium, said that men were much more likely to be involved in accidents because they drove drunk more often and took more risks on the roads.
“The first observation we can analyze is that men are more likely to drink drive than women…and to perform risky types of behavior,” Ms Socheata said.
The government’s statistics show that Kandal province, with 54 fatalities in the first three months of the year, had more deaths than any other province.
Ms Socheata said everyone traveling to and from Phnom Penh had to travel through Kandal, making the roads particularly treacherous.
“Our observations are that [several] national roads pass through Kandal from Phnom Penh, meaning that everyone traveling to [the capital] has to go through Kandal,” she said.
Muon Saren, Kandal province’s deputy traffic police chief, said the large volume of traffic was to blame for the statistics, adding that hit and runs were common.
“Our main national routes have no electric light poles and are dark at night, so the accident creators always hit and run,” he said.
A Handicap International Belgium report released earlier this year said that 1,717 people died on Cambodian roads last year.