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Heftier fines for traffic offenders approved

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
A police officer directs traffic. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The government on Tuesday issued a new sub-decree which increases fines for traffic violators to reduce road traffic casualties.

The sub-decree, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng, saw the amendment of 10 of its articles to increase the severity of punishment for insubordinate motorists.

Fines for riders who commit infractions such as driving without a helmet, speeding and disobeying traffic signs will increase from $3.75 to between $15 and $25.

Riders whose motorbikes are in poor condition will be fined up to $37.50, according to the new sub-decree.

Meanwhile, car and heavy truck drivers committing such  offences will face fines ranging from $18.75 to $75 and $37.50 to 156.25, respectively.

The sub-decree also increases penalties for those driving under the influence of alcohol.

Motorcyclists, cars and heavy truck drivers registering an alcohol level ranging from 0.25 to 0.39 will be mandated to pay $62.50, $100 and $200, respectively. Motorists whose alcohol levels range from 0.40 to 0.80 will have to pay from $250 to $1,000.

Fines for motorists driving cars and heavy truck without licences, revoked licences and number plates are set at $300 and $600, respectively.

The window of payment for the fines will also be reduced from 30 to 15 days. Payments made after the deadline will be increased.

Traffic police officers are authorised to file a complaint to the court should traffic offenders fail to pay their fines within 60 days, previously 90 days.

In addition, all vehicle shop owners, under the new sub-decree, will be required to register the vehicles with their corresponding number plates before selling them to customers.

Colonel They Visal, head of the National Police’s traffic police and public order office, said yesterday drivers are encouraged to file a complaint against traffic police officers if they are wrongly accused within 15 days of the issuance of tickets.

“Based on data from other countries, we are optimistic the increase of fines for traffic offenders will help reduce traffic violations and accidents,” he said. “Our traffic police will give some time for the drivers to learn about these new rules before they are implemented.”

Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak yesterday expressed doubts on the effectiveness of the new sub-decree.

“I support the government’s efforts to prevent road traffic accidents, but I do not think this [sub-decree] will be sufficient in the long run. It’s important to change the attitude of drivers and raise their awareness on the risks of disobeying traffic laws,” he said, as he called on the traffic police to continue educating drivers and strictly implementing the laws.

Motorbike rider Sok Chakrya, 32, said yesterday she had not been informed of the new traffic fines but added the move will only hurt poor drivers.

“The new fines require a huge amount of money as compared to the past. I support the government’s action but I hope they give due consideration to drivers who unintentionally commit traffic violations,” she said.

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