Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Land Traffic Law abused

Land Traffic Law abused

Land Traffic Law abused

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article "PM presses for bike seizures"(May 21, 2009), the police could be empowered to seize and confiscate motorbikes without side mirrors and drivers without helmets under a Land Traffic Law amendment proposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

At the moment, we can see that officials at police posts on our streets and boulevards don't all have their proper identity numbers or uniforms. Rather, they seem more intent on pulling over motorbikes and collecting "fines". Perhaps officials think that these "guilty" fines from motorbike drivers will enhance the national income in some positive way.   

In fact, the money from these fines goes directly into the pockets of traffic police officials. Cambodians and foreigners alike who pay such fines regularly complain that officers never provide receipts for money received. Such receipts serve a number of important purposes, not least of which is preventing drivers from being cited and fined for the same "infraction" more than once each day. Any number of drivers can attest to being stopped and fined at one police post only to be pulled over again at the next and forced to pay because they have no receipt.

Another inequity committed by traffic police is their attempts to fine foreigners at a much more exorbitant rate. My foreign friends say traffic police regularly attempt to extract fines of between US$5 and $20. But Cambodia's traffic laws do not establish one rate for Cambodians and another for foreigners. All drivers, regardless of nationality, are legally obligated to pay only between 3,000 riels and 6,000 riels for motorbike infractions.

I can appreciate that traffic police officials work hard in the sun and the rain, and perhaps that is why the government provides them with certain "incentives". But the Land Traffic Law makes certain legal stipulations that are not being followed. This law, approved by the National Assembly in December 2006, has this to say in the third paragraph of Article 72:

"Traffic police officials must be punished in jail from 1 to 3 years or/and fined from 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 riels for any official who (1) forces a guilty driver to pay an incorrect fine, or (2) receives money and then issues an incorrect receipt, or fails to issue a receipt at all."  

Corruption among traffic police officials leads to a loss in national revenues. Moreover, many drivers face multiple fines in a single day, while foreigners are threatened with fines many times more than the legal limit allowed under the Land Traffic Law.  

Therefore, the government should take any action against this corruption, done in violation of the Land Traffic Law. Meanwhile, all drivers should be advised not to surrender their driver's licences or registration to Traffic Police officers.

Tong Soprach

Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or P.O.鈥圔ox 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all