Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government to re-examine traffic law




Government to re-examine traffic law

Lieutenant General Kirt Chantharith addresses the media on Friday during a press conference on the new traffic laws.
Lieutenant General Kirt Chantharith addresses the media on Friday during a press conference on the new traffic laws. Heng Chivoan

Government to re-examine traffic law

Following a troubled rollout of the January 1 Traffic Law, the government announced yesterday in a press conference that an inter-ministerial team has been established to determine what amendments will be made in reaction to widespread criticism from the public and civil society.

Addressing the media yesterday, the director of the Ministry of Interior’s land traffic department, Hem Yan, said that Interior Minister Sar Kheng, who chairs the National Road Safety Committee, would convene a meeting between the ministries of Interior, Justice, Industry, Economy and Transportation on January 12.

“On Tuesday, the team will meet and discuss to find the way out in time, since it is an urgent task,” Yan said, without specifying which articles may be amended beyond those pertaining to drivers’ licences.

Since the law took effect, several modifications were made by Prime Minister Hun Sen in response to public outcry, such as waiving driver’s licence exam requirements for motorbikes of less than 125cc.

Ostensibly responding to observations that the law was insufficiently studied and inappropriately based on laws of other countries, National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said the law was made “according to the actual situation of our country” with “consultations with both government institutions and civil society organisations and experts”.

However, opposition lawmaker Son Chhay yesterday challenged this narrative, pointing to regulations in the law that were ill-suited to Cambodia’s context, such as the requirement for a baby seat in cars.

“A baby seat costs maybe $200 here; how can someone purchase a baby seat when they want to bring their granddaughter to the hospital?” he said.

Chhay went on to characterise the law as a cash-grab for the government, saying that “the law has so many loopholes for corrupt officials to make money that it hurts people”.

Commenting on a recent notice, which Hun Sen posted on Facebook on Saturday, that waives the requirement for proof of the previous owner’s identity for registration of second-hand vehicles, Chhay observed this could facilitate the registration of stolen vehicles.

“I can take someone’s motorbike and register it – is that the way? It becomes anarchy.”

San Chey, the director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, shared similar concerns, saying that not requiring proof of previous vehicle ownership could spur an increase in theft unless the ministries implemented specific measures to prevent that outcome.

Chey also urged the government for “more consultation [to] avoid amending [the law] several times”.

Spokespeople from several government ministries could not be reached for comment.

Additional reporting by Alessandro Marazzi Sassoon

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,