Minister of Interior Sar Kheng yesterday assured support for traffic police who enforce the law against high-ranking officials that violate traffic regulations.
Speaking yesterday in an inauguration ceremony for new school and administration buildings in Prey Veng province’s Kamchay Mear district, Mr Kheng said traffic accidents remain a concern for the Kingdom.
He noted that despite the traffic police officers’ numerous educational talks and information dissemination initiatives regarding traffic regulations, motorists continue to violate said rules.
“Law enforcement must be the first priority, followed by education,” said Mr Kheng.
“Everyone is equal before the law. The law is uncompromising to anyone who violates it,” he said, adding citizens and officials, whether high-ranking or not, are all accountable before the law.
“Some people say it is not right for low-ranking traffic police officers, such as a second lieutenant, to arrest a lieutenant general. But if they violate the traffic law, then they must be held accountable for their offence,” he said.
Mr Kheng, also the National Road Safety Committee chairman, guaranteed protection for all traffic police officers should they encounter difficulties in enforcing the law.
“I encourage the traffic police to stand by their duties and to tell me if they encounter any problems. I will protect them because otherwise, they wouldn’t dare take action against high-ranking and powerful officers,” he said.
Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak yesterday expressed support for Mr Kheng’s call for action and deemed it a positive sign for improving road safety.
“I agree with Samdech Sar Kheng to make law enforcement a priority because we have been focusing on education for several years now yet some motorists still refuse to change their behaviour,” said Mr Ratanak.
“What we need is the proper enforcement of the law. The rate of traffic accidents will drop if the law is strictly enforced,” he said.
The National Road Safety Committee has reported 4,121 road accidents nationwide last year, killing 1,981 people and injuring 6,141.
It said the number of accidents increased by 26 percent compared with 2018. The death toll rose by 12 percent, while the number of injuries went up by 29 percent.