Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Police officers stop a driver for a traffic law violation on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh in April. Heng Chivoan

‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences.

General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in charge of road traffic, said the enforcement of penalties in accordance with Sub-Decree No 39 on road traffic remains in place.

When pressed about the waiver for offences described in the leaked audio – including failure to respect traffic lights and signs, reckless overtaking, not wearing seat belts or helmets, using a phone while behind the wheel and overloading – Yan said only that all road traffic measures remain in place, although the authorities have decided to ease some of the penalties by instead focussing on educating drivers.

According to the same audio, offences that are still subject to penalties include speeding and driving under the influence. Drivers caught without a driving licence or with a vehicle bearing no licence plates will also be fined.

Yan continued without elaborating that the combined education and disciplinary measures would be more progressive.

“Please respect the traffic laws at all times, because intentional or unintentional violation of the law will endanger lives and create more congestion,” he said.

Chan Sothy, director of the Battambang provincial road traffic bureau, confirmed to The Post on June 20 that he had received instructions to ease enforcement of the road traffic laws and had held a meeting to disseminate the information to his officers.

Sothy said that drivers caught ignoring traffic lights and signs, overloading, not wearing seatbelts or helmets and using a phone would now receive a roadside reprimand and education before being allowed to continue.

He noted that those caught speeding, driving drunk, driving without a licence or number plates would be fined.

“Previously, we fined car drivers for nine offences, but now we will only penalise them for four. Motorcyclists will be fined for three offences as opposed to seven previously,” he added.

Kim Pagna, country director of Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, said the use of educational mechanisms was not an effective strategy and was likely to lead to an increase in road deaths and injuries.

He said that if anything, enforcement of the laws should be tightened because Cambodia had been successful in reducing the number of casualties in 2020 and 2021.

“Traffic accidents are not like other social problems. In 2016, authorities increased their enforcement of traffic laws and we saw a corresponding decrease in fatalities and injuries.

“In 2017-19, we watched the incidence rates increase. Why? Enforcement was relaxed at the same time as many newly registered vehicles hit the roads. Often the drivers were new to owning cars and sometimes, neglected to take driving lessons or obtain driving licenses,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’