Nearly 2,000 motorbikes were seized over the past three days after Phnom Penh police began to crack down on helmetless riders and motorists going in the wrong direction.
Municipal police chief Choun Sovann said on Saturday that motorists needed to respect the law.
“For those driving in the opposition direction, police officials will confiscate their vehicle for three days until they come to show their ID card and other relevant documents and pay the fine as per the law,” he said. “Then they can take their vehicle back home.”
Mr Sovann said if a motorist was arrested a second time, the fine would be doubled and their vehicle would be kept at the police station for a month.
Upon a third arrest for the same infraction, the fine would be tripled and their vehicle would be impounded for three months.
“I think everyone who has a vehicle must know the law. They know riding in the opposite direction is illegal, but some still do it,” he said.
“If they have an accident, it does not only injure or kill the rider, but other people using the road who respect the law are also injured or die.”
Mr Sovann said motorbike riders who are not wearing helmets or do not have mirrors will have to buy them immediately to prevent their motorbike from being seized.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said yesterday that police must consistently implement the law and not just when Prime Minister Hun Sen calls them out for failing to do their jobs.
“I see that police officers are careless about enforcing the law, but rush to do it after the Prime Minister made his announcement,” he said.
Last week, Mr Hun Sen railed against traffic offences occurring in Phnom Penh, especially in front of his home near the Independence Monument.
He warned the governor of Daun Penh district to do something about it or risk losing his job.
Mr Chey added that some law enforcement officials, especially vehicles with police or Royal Cambodian Armed Forces licence plates, often abuse the traffic law so it is only natural that other citizens will follow.
“The only thing police officers have to do is implement the law every day, then citizens will do the same,” he said.
According to a report by the National Police Commissariat’s department of traffic and public order, 1,924 motorbikes were seized from Friday through yesterday. Ear Chariya, director of the Institute for Road Safety, said last week that both law enforcement by the police and respect of the law by the people were still weak.
A total of 1,780 people died and 5,539 people were injured in traffic accidents nationwide in 2017, compared with 1,717 deaths and 6,607 injuries the previous year.