Traffic Law Fails to Hit Home

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Another accident put down to a speeding driver. KT/Mai Vireak

Half the country’s drivers have little understanding of the Traffic Law introduced this year to tackle the high road toll, a survey shows.
The law was aimed at cutting road accidents in a country in which six people are killed and 16 seriously injured every day.
Most of the victims are young breadwinners earning money for their families.
Researchers spoke to 1,410 people in seven provinces and respondents were drawn from local people and local authorities.
Consultant Yim Kimchhean said 50 percent of respondents had only a slight understanding of the new laws.
This was after the government sent out information about the law and started enforcing it when it came into force at the beginning of the year.
Dr. Kimchhean said: “Only 39.1 percent said that they understood the law, 51.8 percent have a slight understanding and about 10 percent said they never knew about this law.”
But he said the survey showed that 51 percent of respondents said the Traffic Law is important in making traveling better and cutting accidents.
Thirteen percent believe the new law is not important, while 36 percent said they did not know.
He said also that 69.1 percent believe that the new law is legal, but 22 percent think it is unconstitutional, especially traffic police officials who dispute the law which changes the way fines are collected.
The report was commissioned by the Promoting Road Traffic Law Enforcement Through Stakeholder Engagement and Support project.
This 12-month project worked across 50 communes and 10 districts of the provinces made up of Kampong Speu, Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Kampong Thom and Kratie.
The study was supported by the Global Road Safety Partnership and implemented by the Advocacy and Policy Institute (API) with 12 civil society organization partners.
Neb Sinthay, the API director, said in a workshop yesterday that traffic is an issue for all people and responsibility for curbing traffic accidents has to start with everyone.
“I think that to a greater or lesser extent we all face this problem every day, but we have not got together to improve traffic safety.
“We are good at complaining but not good at deciding what to do about it,” he said.
Long Thou, deputy director of the department of public order at the Interior Ministry, said traffic police officers went out to educate people about the new Traffic Law in all the provinces, districts and communities and also in factories.
He urged citizens to stop accusing and pointing to mistakes of the traffic police who were forced to take money from drivers or passengers.
More than 3,000 traffic accidents happened across the country in the first 10 months of the year and caused more than 1,400 deaths and about 5,300 injuries, a decline from the same period last year.

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