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Gov’t to amend traffic law as death toll continues to rise

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Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol speaks at the 2nd annual conference on road safety on Thursday. VOUN DARA

Gov’t to amend traffic law as death toll continues to rise

The government is set to amend traffic laws as the nationwide death toll from road accidents continue to rise.

Speaking at the 2nd annual conference on road safety on Thursday, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol, who is also vice-chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, said relevant institutions will put more effort to strengthen implementation of the law.

“[Interior Minister Sar Kheng] has advised us to create a working group to amend the Law on Road Traffic to make it stricter and to impose more fines on offenders,” he said.

He said the amendment aims to tackle modified trucks transporting goods more than weight limits and not complying with technical standards. He said the Kingdom’s existing traffic law is weaker than other countries.

“If a truck is found to be overloaded, we can confiscate it for one month, for example. This amendment is made to prevent our roads from being damaged by such trucks.

“We have just set up a working group to study it comprehensively before amending the law. We have to review it thoroughly to ensure better law enforcement,” he said.

Chanthol said the death toll from traffic accidents stood at 1,800 last year and is expected to rise to more than 2,000 this year. He said such preventable loss of lives cost the economy around $350 million a year.

In the first six months of this year, Chanthol added, the death toll from traffic accidents stood at 1,033 and would rise further if the law is not strengthened.

“Despite our strong efforts, the number of deaths from road accidents remains high. I urge everyone to please respect the law.”

Kim Panha, the director of AIP Foundation which organised the conference, echoed Chanthol’s concerns.

“The number of deaths from traffic accidents is still high, especially in the first six months of this year. The death toll could rise to 3,012 this year if no proper measures are taken.”