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Auto panel discusses mandatory insurance

VEHICLE insurance could become compulsory under amendments to the Land Traffic Law currently under consideration by an inter-ministerial working group, officials said.

Preap Chanvibol, director of the land transport department at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said in June that his working group had finalised the amendments to the law, and was planning to send them to the Minister of Public Works later in the month.

But he said that the group reconvened last Wednesday to make additional changes after he received an “official letter” from Minister of Finance Keat Chhon requesting that all vehicles be insured.

“Our final draft did not have articles about insurance, but the finance ministry wants to include the articles,” he said.

He said the Finance Ministry’s proposal to introduce compulsory insurance was rejected when the working group began amending the law in March, on the grounds that “normal Cambodian people like moto-taxi drivers will not have the money to buy insurance”.

But In Meatra, head of the insurance division of Ministry of Finance’s financial department, said yesterday that the amendments were meant to protect road users against “risks happening accidentally”.

“Our target is to require cars to have insurance first,” he said, whereas compulsory insuring of motorbikes would come later.

Youk Chamroeunrith, general manager of Forte Insurance, said he welcomed the potential changes, since insurance companies could help protect the victims of hit-and-run traffic incidents.

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