Crossing Cambodia

Friday, March 16, 2007

Data Production

Today's (March 16, 2007) Cambodia Daily, a short article on traffic accident statistics. Oddly enough the title reads '526 Traffic Fatalities in Phnom Penh in January'. That's a lot! Let's continue reading:
'Road traffic casualties in Phnom Penh increased by about 20 percent between December and January, according to a report released this week'.
Between December and January? There's not much between December and January. Crossing Cambodia supposes that in stead of 'between' compared to should have been used. OK, OK.
'Officials attributed the jump to a rising number of vehicles and a continued failure of drivers to obey traffic regulations'.
Sorry? The jump is due to the rising number of vehicles? Are there 20% more vehicles on the road? What about the failure of the authorities to enforce traffic regulations?
'A total of 526 casualties were reported in the capital in January up from 440 the previous month, according ... report released by the government and Handicap International'.
Ah! There were not 526 fatalities, but 526 casualties. A big difference.
'The report also said that 2079 road traffic casualties were reported nationwide in January, resulting in 483 serious injuries and 130 deaths'.
Now let's go back a few months. This blog entry again refers to a Cambodia Daily article. Excerpts:
'Nearly 2,000 Traffic Casualties in October' captions an article in yesterday's (December 11, 2006) Cambodia Daily by daily reporter Liz Tomei'.
So January 2007 compared to October 2006: around just 4% increase in casualties. Perspective needed (and accuracy)

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