National Police have set up special intervention teams to help solve traffic problems in jam-prone areas in the capital.
During a meeting with officers on Monday, Lieutenant General Sar Thet, national deputy police chief and also Phnom Penh police chief, decided to set up the teams to look into reducing traffic congestion in the city.
“Jams occur due to lack of personnel to control traffic, motorists not respecting the laws and renovation work on infrastructures,” he said. “Traffic congestion is also due to the population increase, leading to more cars on the road.”
Lt Gen Thet said that the municipal police will mobilise the three special teams, comprised of ten officers each, to jam-prone areas to improve traffic flow.
He requested all traffic police officers and others responsible for controlling traffic not to just stand on one street to observe traffic but to move around on motorbikes to intervene whenever they come across traffic jams.
“The special intervention teams have to travel around daily to intervene in areas experiencing traffic jams,” Lt Gen Thet said. “We will pull over people who drive in the wrong direction, use phones while driving and are not following the correct lanes.”
He also ordered officers who hide themselves before pouncing on errant drivers to stop the practice.
“Some police officers hide themselves behind structures or trees and stop drivers or riders who break the law when they pass by,” Lt Gen Thet noted.
At the meeting he also told his officers not to fine motorists who turn right when the traffic light is red.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday said at the ministry’s annual meeting that traffic accidents are still a problem and more should be done to reduce them.
He noted that road safety experts have estimated that if no effective measures are taken, the death toll from traffic accidents would rise to 3,200 people by 2020.
“If we work hard to reduce traffic accident deaths to around 1,000 in 2020, then we will be successful,” he said. “We have to start doing more together to reduce accidents from this year until the end of 2020.
Mr Kheng added that all road users and relevant institutions should work with the government to reduce traffic accidents.
A Public Works and Transportation Ministry report recently said that 3,267 traffic accidents occurred nationwide last year, (down seven percent from 2017), causing 1,761 fatalities (down one percent) and injuring 4,770 (down 14 percent).