The Siem Reap Public Work and Transportation Department today appealed to tuk-tuk and rickshaw drivers to join its free traffic law training course which started on May 2 and runs until July 30.
In a statement, Kang Chan Tra, the department’s acting director, said drivers who complete the course would be able to apply for and sit for the theoretical exam and driving test to get a licence.
He warned that drivers who do not have licences face fines from traffic police.
The course in Siem Reap, held every Saturday, was started after the one held in Phnom Penh from March 2 until May 4.
Sam Piseth, Phnom Penh Public Works and Transportation Department director, on Tuesday told local media that 6,435 drivers had attended the free course in the capital.
“I appeal to drivers who have not attended the free course to hurry up and study the traffic laws even though they will now have to pay for the lessons,” he said. “This is to enable them to sit for the exam and test to get a driving license.”
To Sopheap, 32, a rickshaw driver, today said that had attended the free course in Phnom Penh and has obtained a licence.
“Previously, I did not care to learn the traffic laws because I thought that I was already able to drive safely on the roads,” he said. “But during the course I learned several new rules including understanding traffic signs and keeping to speed limits.”
Sam Vuth, a tuk-tuk driver in Siem Reap, today said that he is happy that the free course is now available in the province.
“In Siem Reap, there are a lot of tuk-tuk and rickshaw drivers because it is a tourist area. It is a good chance for us to learn the traffic laws,” he said. “When we get our licenses we will no longer have to fear being caught by the police and pay fines.”
Last month, Transport Minister Sun Chanthol called on all unlicensed drivers to attend road safety training and obtain a license within three months.
He said the municipal public works and transport department found that the majority of tuk-tuk and rickshaw drivers in the capital lack training on traffic laws and a driver’s licence.
“Among about 20,000 drivers in Phnom Penh, 98 percent of them were driving without a license,” Mr Chanthol said. “The law says they must have a licence.”
According to a National Road Safety Committee report last month, 1,076 traffic accidents occurred across the Kingdom during the first three months of this year. It said that the accidents resulted in 513 deaths and 1,592 people injured.
It noted that accidents occurred primarily because of road rule violations, recklessness and drunk driving.