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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Draft law puts high price on drunk driving

Evening in central Phnom Penh
Evening in central Phnom Penh. AFP

Draft law puts high price on drunk driving

Drunk drivers could be fined $1000 under a new draft traffic law approved yesterday by The Council of Ministers. The legislation includes a raft of measures aimed at reducing the number of deaths and injuries on the roads.

Among the draft law’s 92 articles are new fines for motorcycle passengers who ride without a helmet and increased penalties for speeding, driving without a licence and riding a motorbike without a helmet.

“The main causes of traffic accidents are drunk driving, driving over the speed limit, driving without a license and ignoring traffic laws,” said a statement released after the meeting.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the new draft law would increase the maximum penalty for the drunk drivers from 800,000 riel ($200) to 4,000,000 riel ($1,000).

He said he expected to see the number of incidents decrease after the law was enacted.​ Other specifics of the laws are expected to be revealed when they go to the National Assembly for approval in the coming weeks.

Director-general of the Department of Transportation Chan Dara said that the law would help to reduce traffic accidents.

“Traffic accidents are a concern among all road users,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport each day an average of five people are killed and 16 are injured in traffic accidents on Cambodian roads.

Road safety consultant Ear Chariya applauded the new draft laws.

“When the penalties are increased people will have more fear of violating the laws,” said Chariya, who is currently providing advice to the government and Asian Development Bank.

“In other countries we have seen that when the penalties are higher people pay more respect to the law.”

Additional reporting by Will Jackson



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skindog's picture

Today was stopped by police in SHV, they say was DUI. I ask to see technical details of allowed alcohol level and what I got was the number 0.15 written on his hand.
I come from Australia where level is 0.05%. This I know is 3 drinks first hour and one every hour to sustain this. Cambodian level 3 times higher, this is not my gripe.
My gripe is that I had 5 beers over 3 hours and I am 90kg man so definitely would have registered well under 0.1%.
I am all in favor of competent drivers on the road but a more formal method should be adopted rather than a policeman's own interpretation by a hunch.
And why they don't stop 3 tonne Lexus drivers doing 30km/hr over common road speeds is much more dangerous than the damage a drunk motorcyclist could cause, which is the reason the fine was raised.
I think some of Asia will kill the golden goose as far as tourism goes by adopting too many failed western rules that are not enforced competently. Now I walk meaning less taxi and tuktuk fares, less fuel, less police fines. Less time for eating and entertaining, and ultimately less fun.
This means less reason to come here and less visa and accommodation fees. Now I looking for a more deserving destination of my tourism dollar.
I could have contested it but with international authorities they will find something else to pin you on.
By the way the fine is $1000 USD (you heard correctly)which I negotiated down slightly .
When my liberties and rights are taken away like this I make sure the profit is saved elsewhere so now I spend $5000 less over few months and find another country.
Cambodia please don't go down same road as Western world is going by not respecting peoples rights and hiding behind safety as the reason for money extraction.
They gain $1000, loose $50000+.
These types of things are the real reason the worldwide economy is decaying. Too much corrupt enforcement of excessive and irrational social responsibility which by another name is called protection money.

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