The Phnom Penh Public Works and Transportation Department yesterday said 8,487 drivers of Indian auto rickshaws and tuk-tuks have taken a free traffic law course since it began in March, with officials calling on all those who have not yet participated to take the class before it ends next month.
“The period of the course will finish on July 27, so please, other drivers can come and learn for free,” a department statement said.
City Hall has been offering the course since March in a bid to improve road safety after criticism from the public that rickshaw and tuk-tuk drivers were not following road rules.
According to a report from the department, there are currently 10,091 tuk-tuks and 14,338 auto rickshaws operating on the road in Phnom Penh.
In April, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said 98 percent of the drivers were on the road without licenses.
“The ministry will open a course for them to learn for free and after take an exam for driving in order to reduce traffic accidents,” he said.
Moung Chanpheap, an auto rickshaw driver, yesterday said that he already took the course and received his driver’s license.
“During the class, they teach us a lot,” he said. “They teach us driving rules, traffic laws, traffic signs, and then we do a test to get a driver’s license.”
Hou Chan Thoeun, a tuk-tuk driver, said he also took part in the course and received his driver’s license.
He said that he now understands a lot about traffic laws, how to drive safely and how to observe other drivers on the road.
“The state is giving the course, so we must learn while there’s still time,” Mr Thoeun said. “It is a chance for us to get a driver’s license.”
Sam Piseth, director of the Public Works and Transport Department, noted there are still drivers who have yet to take the course.
“I appeal to drivers who have not yet come to learn, please hurry and get your driver’s license,” he said.