Traffic Accidents up 11 Percent in 5 Months to May

Police recorded 916 traffic deaths in five months leading to May, an increase of eight percent on the same period last year, an official said Monday.

“Forty percent of the road accident deaths were caused by high speeds,” said Preap Chanvibol, director of the land transportation department at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.

“Twelve percent were caused by drinking and driving, and the majority were because people violated traffic laws.”

The figures were collected between December 11, 2013, and May 10, 2014, Mr. Chanvibol said. Over this period, there were about 2,106 reported traffic accidents, up 11 percent for the same period last year, he said.

At least 3,486 people were injured in the period, he added.

At least four people have been killed in a recent wave of fatal hit-and-runs. Ear Chariya, an independent consultant on road safety, estimated Monday that hit-and-runs account for about 40 percent of traffic fatalities.

“We are concerned traffic accident fatalities are increasing,” said Mr. Chariya, the former road safety program manager for Handicap International in Cambodia. “Police are not enforcing the law; they are paying too much attention to controlling demonstrations.”

Mr. Chariya added that more awareness among drivers to report accidents may be a factor in the increase.

“But the main factor is no enforcement and a lack of proper road signage,” Mr. Chariya said.

Him Yan, director of the Ministry of Interior’s public order department, declined to comment on the increase in accidents and fatalities.

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