Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni has signed off on a more robust traffic law, completing the final step for legislation that could hit the streets as early as next month, according to the government’s National Road Safety Committee (NRSC).
“He signed on the ninth of January,” said Chan Sokol, chief of the NRSC’s national and international relationships division.
The bill sailed through the National Assembly in a few days of debate in December and passed the Senate just before the New Year.
Among other changes included in the law, passengers who are older than 3 years and riding on a motorbike will now have to wear a helmet. The law also limits the number of people on a motorbike to one driver, one adult passenger and one child, and allows for fines of up to $1,000 for drunken drivers.
Preap Chanvibol, deputy secretary-general for the National Road Safety Committee, said late last month that after Sihamoni signs the law, it will go into effect 10 days later in Phnom Penh – meaning today – and 20 days later in the countryside.
Sokol repeated the formula yesterday, but said that “early in February, it will go into effect”.
In Cambodia, traffic accidents are a leading cause of death, killing an average of six people every day.
A report in state media on Saturday said that vehicle registration last year was up 14 per cent compared with 2013, with more than 320,000 new motorbikes, cars and trucks on the country’s roads.