Anti-Corruption Unit president Om Yentieng got an early Christmas present in the shape of a 25,000 riel ($6.50) fine for failing to wear a seatbelt while driving through Sen Sok district on December 24.
Yentieng did not respond to requests for comment, but a district police official confirmed the fine.
Fines for not wearing a seatbelt are rarely issued due to difficulties in determining whether or not passengers are wearing their belts, said Road Safety Institute director Ear Chariya, who added that public figures have a duty to “set a good model for citizens” when it comes to road safety.
Accountability NGO ANSA executive director San Chey said he was pleased to see the police enforcing the traffic law properly but that it was still far more common for officers to demand informal payments rather than issue tickets.
“A driver will be given two options by the police, if you pay [on the spot] it will be less than in the law,” Chey said. “But I think in the case of Om Yentieng, I’m sure the police cannot force him to pay at the checkpoint.”