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Traffic ticket tension

Traffic ticket tension

120503_06

Photo by: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

A police officer flags down alleged traffic offenders on a street in Phnom Penh yesterday.

A new traffic law requiring that car and truck drivers receive traffic tickets to be paid at police offices rather than pay fines on the spot has been in effect since Tuesday, but rights groups remain concerned the system will encourage rather than combat bribery.

San Chey, coordinator for Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, said the inconvenience of paying the fine at a separate location could encourage drivers and police to co-operate in engaging in bribery.

“Have a quick look at whether this mechanism is transparent. Where is the spot of the fine? Is it far or near? Will people fined go to pay or not?” San Chey said yesterday.

This was especially an issue for the extensive stretches of national roads that connect the provinces, he said.

National police commissioner spokesman Kirt Chantharith said the new law, on the contrary, would ensure officials did not fine drivers improperly.

“Our target, most importantly, is to reduce illegal activity along the roads, not allowing our officials the opportunity to fine someone without a ticket,” he said.

The amount of the fine was stated on the ticket to guard against bribes, he said.

There are 11 traffic police offices in Phnom Penh, according to Phnom Penh deputy police chief Chev Hak.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

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