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Car fines 'illegal', drivers say

Car fines 'illegal', drivers say

PM threatens govenors who allow fines.

CARS carrying more than the legal limit of five passengers are being fined at checkpoints in Battambang province, which drivers claim is illegal.

"They have fined us 5,000 riels (US$1.21) for putting six people in my car. So I have to pay 10,000-15,000 riels a day in Battambang province at two or three checkpoints," Kong Nuon, who drives a taxi from Phnom Penh to Pailin, told the Post Monday.

Kong Nuon said that Prime Minister Hun Sen had ordered checkpoints in the provinces be shut down, but provincial authorities had kept checkpoints to extort money from people.

 "If I follow traffic regulations, I can't run my car. It would be better to stay at home," he said.

Other drivers in the province also said they were being fined between 5,000 and 15,000 riels for carrying more than five people.

Only Battambang extorting

Om Phat runs a taxi through five provinces but said that only Battambang province had set up checkpoints to extort money from drivers.

But Sath Kimsan, chief traffic officer for Battambang province, said that police were just following the law.

"Our police are just carrying out the law. If any car carries over the load ... we will fine them. If it has more than five persons, we have to fine them," he said.

Prach Chan, governor of Battambang province, said Monday that he will investigate the issue with his officials.

Hun Sen last week threatened to sack any governors or officials whose provinces have illegal checkpoints.

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