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Enforcing the Traffic Law

Enforcing the Traffic Law

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Police monitor traffic on Norodom Boulevard on Sunday as a motorist looks on.

An attempt at ramped-up enforcement of the Traffic Law leads to thousands of fines and scattered vehicle confiscations.

POLICE throughout the country fined thousands of motorists and confiscated 202 vehicles on Saturday, the first day of an effort to more strictly enforce regulations spelled out in the Land Traffic Law, officials said.

Kirt Chantharith, spokesman for the National Police, told the Post on Sunday that the first day of the effort to ramp up enforcement of the law saw officials administer fines to 3,438 drivers. In addition, 90 motorbikes were confiscated because they lacked licence plates, while 112 were seized either because of missing mirrors or because their drivers were not wearing helmets and refused to buy them at the checkpoints.

Chev Hak, deputy chief of the municipal traffic police, said police on Saturday had fined 705 motorists for driving without mirrors or helmets in the capital. Two motorbikes were confiscated and taken to a police station because they lacked licence plates, but those motorbikes can be reclaimed once the owners obtain plates, he added.

Police set up checkpoints at 14 different places in the capital during the day on Saturday. There were only two checkpoints on Saturday evening,
but Chev Hak said that number was set to increase to seven by Sunday evening.

Apart from Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kandal and Battambang provinces had the highest numbers of infractions. A total of 513 drivers were fined in Kampong Cham, while 457 were fined in Kandal and 406 in Battambang, Keat Chantharith said. Around 1,000 traffic and military police in 132 stations throughout the country have been tasked with enforcing the law, he added.

Police in Preah Sihanouk province are to begin their enforcement today, after delays this weekend stemming from bad weather and a visit from Prime Minister Hun Sen, provincial traffic police chief Prum Pov said.

Though the Land Traffic Law was originally passed two years ago, it has been enforced only sporadically. In June, the Ministry of Interior issued a directive calling for increased enforcement starting August 1.

Sann Socheata, a road safety programme officer at Handicap International Belgium, said she believes the regulations spelled out in the law will do much to promote traffic safety in the Kingdom, which she said has improved in the past few years.

She added that she expected road fatalities to decline as a result of stricter enforcement of the law.

Kirt Chantharith said there had not been much reported resistance to the effort.

"People have no reaction when we fine them because they know they are at fault," Kirt Chantharith said. "There is overwhelming support for our effort."

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