Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - City police seize motorbikes.

City police seize motorbikes.

City police seize motorbikes.

If they want to teach them about the law, they can teach them where they are fined.

TRAFFIC police in the capital have resumed seizing the motorbikes of helmetless drivers and those who lack side mirrors, despite the fact that the Land Traffic Law does not list vehicle confiscation as a possible punishment for such offences.

Heng Chantheary, head of the Phnom Penh Traffic Police, said he did not know when the recent crackdown began, but that confiscations had been occurring periodically since August 2009.

The Post has received multiple reports of motorbikes being confiscated en masse at various checkpoints in the past week.

“This has not happened for a long time,” Heng Chantheary said in reference to the confiscations.

“For drivers who break traffic laws, such as having no helmet and driving in the wrong direction, we take their motos to the land traffic office, where the owners must learn the traffic laws before they can get their vehicles back,” he said, although he could not provide figures detailing how many vehicles had been confiscated in recent weeks.

He said drivers who wish to get their motorbikes back must pay all relevant fines.

Under the Land Traffic Law, motorbike drivers caught without helmets must pay fines of 3,000 riels (US$0.71), and those caught without mirrors face fines of 4,000 riels.

Sann Socheata, a road safety programme manager for the Cambodian branch of Handicap International Belgium, said there was no mention in the Land Traffic Law of confiscations related to either transgression.

“Motorbike confiscation is not mentioned in the traffic law,” she said.

She noted, though, that Prime Minister Hun Sen has occasionally suggested that traffic police confiscate the motorbikes of offending drivers.

She went on to say that she did not oppose the measure, and that it would give drivers more incentive to obey the law.

But she said authorities should also spend time making sure drivers know exactly what the law stipulates.

“I think what we should spend time doing is convincing people to respect the traffic law,” she said. “Then there won’t be any confiscation
anymore.”

Kong Chhorn, a 36-year-old motorbike driver, said yesterday that he was less concerned about the confiscation of motorbikes than he was about the seemingly erratic application of fines.

“I was once asked for 5,000 riels for not wearing my helmet belt,” he said. “Some police even use offensive words when they are talking to me. They should use good words to educate people about the traffic law.”

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport in June finalised amendments to the Land Traffic Law that would increase fines and require passengers on motorbikes to wear helmets.

If the amendments, which have not yet been sent to the Council of Ministers, are eventually approved, helmetless motorbike drivers will be required to pay fines of 21,000 riels (about $5).

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release