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Cambodia’s Roads Claim Over 1,600 Lives Annually

Cambodia’s road accidents have killed more people than countries in the region, claiming more than 1,600 lives annually and are on the rise, a traffic police official said Thursday.

“The figures that we have received are worrying,” said Pol. Maj. Chev Hak, deputy chief of Phnom Penh municipality police, on Hello VOA. “The rates of road accidents are still high compared to other countries in the region.”

Cambodia recorded 10,015 accidents that killed 1,638 people in 2008 due to over-speed driving, drunk driving, violation of rights of way, and not respecting traffic signs.

“Nationwide the number of traffic accidents has increased steadily by six percent annually since 2006,” said Chev Hak.

However, in the country’s capital Phnom Penh, where some two million people reside the number of road accidents, has reduced slightly.

In 2009, there were 639 cases reported with 210 people dead, a slight decrease compared to 2008 where 700 cases were reported with 266 people killed.

“It is important that drivers should not drink alcohol,” said Meas Chandy, another guest speaker from Handicap International Belgium, a non-governmental organization that provides technical support to Cambodian police and traffic education to Cambodians.