Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Enforcement over education

Enforcement over education

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Interior Minister Sar Kheng says the time for traffic law education is over and motorists must be held accountable under the law. Heng Chivoan

Enforcement over education

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, who is also chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, on Thursday called 2020 the year of traffic law enforcement. He said the time for educating motorists rather than punishing them has ended.

Speaking at the monthly road safety meeting, Sar Kheng said this must be the year of traffic law enforcement in order to reduce road fatalities which plague the Kingdom.

He noted public education measures should still continue, but enforcement must now be prioritised.

“For 2020, I think we should change our priorities by shifting from education to serious law enforcement.

“It doesn’t mean that we stop educating the public. We will continue with that, but law enforcement is the priority because the law forces people to respect it, whether they have learned it or not.

“You cannot be excused by saying you did not learn or do not know the law, and say you are innocent. The law did not say so. Law is the law, whether you know it or not, if you are wrong it means you are wrong.

“If they say that they don’t know the law, how many years more do they need to know the law. The law is there to protect their lives. Every year, we lose two per cent of our GDP to traffic accidents. This is about $400 million.

“Most democratic countries take legal enforcement as the main priority. We already taught and did outreach over the traffic law and we will continue to do that. But our priority must now be law enforcement and the law must be respected. Everyone is equal before the law,” Sar Kheng said.

Sar Kheng said traffic police must apply the law to everyone on the road, no matter if the driver is a four-star general or a street vendor.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on Thursday that in January alone, 358 traffic accidents occurred, resulting in 206 deaths and 558 injuries.

Director of the Institute for Road Safety Kong Ratanak said on Thursday that he agreed with Sar Kheng on the shift from traffic law education to law enforcement.

“What Sar Kheng said is a positive step and I support this priority shift and we will continue to educate people over the law. We must strengthen law enforcement, and look at road problems, which is the engineering aspect,” he said.

He said there are a small number of traffic police who were still taking bribes and some other high-ranking officials who do not respect the traffic laws, boasting that they do not need to due to their position.

“We want officers to respect the law as role models for the public and their fellow officials. They should not boast with their uniform and disrespect the law,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of