Road crashes over the huge Khmer New Year holiday migration rose only slightly year-on-year despite rapidly increasing vehicle ownership. But motorcyclists were shockingly vulnerable, involved in more than 90 percent of all accidents.
Statistics collected by National Police between April 13 and the 17 recorded 121 traffic accidents compared with 113 last year. The number of deaths did not increase significantly, rising to 55 from 52 in 2016. The number of people injured rose slightly, to 239 from 226 a year ago.
Police said 44 accidents were caused by speeding and 22 by drunk driving. Motorcycles were involved in 91 percent of accidents and 90 percent of motorcyclists weren’t wearing helmets. While the Kingdom’s Traffic Law mandates helmets, the rule remains widely flouted and enforcement is sporadic.
Ear Chariya, the director of the Institute for Road Safety, called for tougher messages about the dangers of drink driving and speeding. “The government needs to raise awareness through media platforms and education from primary school to university.”