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Accidents Decrease but Fatalities Rise in August

Phnom Penh: Cambodia’s August Traffic Accident Report has been released. 199 accidents were reported on the country’s roads last month. That’s 41 accidents down when compared to the 241 crashes in July, but 16 more people were killed.

Minister of Interior, Sar Kheng, says the rise in the number of fatal accidents is related to the Sen Kbal Tuek holy day, which led to 15 deaths and 32 traffic-related injuries. Sen Kbal Tuek is known in English as the “Hungry Ghost Festival”, with families travelling to other provinces to spend time with their relatives to honor their ancestors. With Pchum Ben approaching, the Minister has urged drivers to be more cautious on the road and has reminded officials to keep enforcing the law.

Traffic safety remains a chief priority for Cambodian law enforcement and major changes are coming to the way traffic violators are managed. By this time next year, the accident statistics should have improved. The kingdom’s new Demerit System will be in effect from early next year, and is currently in its trial phase. It’ll see drivers being issued with 12 points, with points deducted for each traffic offence. When there are no points left, drivers will have to wait six months to retake their driving test, if they want to get back on the road.

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