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Bigger traffic fines from May 1

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The traffic police will enforce a new sub-decree which increases traffic violation fines to three to five times their current rates from next month. Supplied

Bigger traffic fines from May 1

Starting May 1, the traffic police will enforce a new sub-decree which increases traffic violation fines to three to five times their current rates. Officials expect the increase in fines will help reduce traffic accidents.

Minister of Interior and chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, Sar Kheng, confirmed the increase in fines on Friday.

“The National Road Safety Committee urges people to obey traffic laws in order to protect their own lives and other people. People should drive with high awareness to promote honour, dignity and social order in Cambodia,” the statement said.

The new sub-decree said driving without a helmet or wearing one inappropriately will carry a fine of up to 60,000 riel ($15).

Driving under the influence of alcohol, with 0.40mg per litre of air or 0.80g or higher per litre of blood, will cost motorcyclists and bicyclists one million riel.

Light lorry drivers will be fined two million riel for the same offence, while heavy lorry drivers will be fined four million riel.

If a driver is caught driving under the influence of alcohol twice within six months, the traffic police will file a court report for legal action.

The government has decided that 2020 is the year to minimise traffic accidents after a dramatic rise last year.

Traffic fatalities rose by 220 last year, an increase of 12 per cent compared to 2018. Traffic-related injuries jumped 29 per cent over the same timeframe – an increase of 1,371.

In the first three months of this year, traffic accidents across the country decreased by 150 compared to last year, a 14 per cent decrease.

The number of traffic fatalities fell by 20, or four per cent, over the same timeframe, while traffic injuries decreased by 277, or 17 per cent,​ Sar Kheng said.

“The drop rate in both the number of deaths and injuries from traffic accidents is the result of the National Road Safety Committee pushing for more enforcement of laws around the country to reduce the number of road accidents. There was a big increase last year,” he said.

Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak expressed support for raising the fine under the new sub-decree but said he did not know whether the implementation of the sub-decree would be effective because it was announced quickly without widespread publicity.

“The timeframe for the announcement is under three months. So, the announcement is not widely known, which will shock the people. I want the new sub-decree promoted to broaden the scope and delay its implementation a little,” Ratanak said.

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