Traffic Law Crackdown Starts Tuesday

Taing Vida / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Traffic police attempt to get drivers to slow down at a checkpoint in Phnom Penh. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Committee for Road Traffic Safety announced that from Tuesday, traffic police will start intensifying their enforcement of the recently implemented traffic law after a two-month test period showed positive results.  
The committee noted that some drivers respected the new road traffic laws, with many citizens taking their cars to get checked by mechanics, completing permission letters for business transportation as well as completing driving tests. But some drivers, they said, were still careless and did not respect the law.
Kiet Chantharith, the deputy National Police chief, said that from March 15 onward, speed limits will be enforced during both the day and night, adding that police would be far less forgiving when handing out fines to motorists than in the past. Officials believe the two-month grace period was more than enough time for people to educate themselves on the new rules and regulations.
“There were a lot of positive points since the law came into effect. Crime has decreased, traffic accidents, the number of dead people and injured are down. But people are worried and scared of being caught or fined. They only respect the law and their surroundings when they are checked,” he said.
“Once they pass a checkpoint, they just drive over the speed limit. For drunk drivers, they keep on looking for different roads to escape from the checkpoints.”
Ear Chariya, the director of the Institute of Road Safety, said that despite the law being in effect for more than two months, police were failing to enforce it and a large portion of motorists were ignoring it.
“I think from March 15, police must strictly and strongly implement the law with transparency and no exceptions. So then drivers will be more careful and respect the law,” said Mr. Chariya.
According to a report from the National Committee for Road Safety, in the first week of March there were 82 traffic accidents reported with 36 fatalities and 152 injured, compared with the same period last month when 96 accidents were reported, with 52 road fatalities and 151 injured. A total of 1,139 drivers broke the law with a mere 19 cases being sent to court.
The full enforcement of the new road safety laws comes after Prime Minister Hun Sen was forced to delay the implementation of parts of the law in January after there was widespread condemnation of specific statutes, which people claimed were too confusing and financially harsh.
The condemnation of the law became so bad that the prime minister was forced to abandon parts of it entirely, including a provision requiring driver’s licenses for people riding motorbikes with engines under 125cc.  

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