The government has established seven national working groups to help support the implementation of the Kingdom’s new Traffic Law and to create broader awareness of road safety across the nation.
The seven bodies, agreed upon yesterday at a meeting of the National Road Safety Committee in Phnom Penh, will take charge of various areas related to road safety including monitoring standards at driving schools, law enforcement relating to speeding and drunk driving, data collection, driver education and a specific working group that deals with accidents involving trucks that ferry garment workers to factories.
“If we don’t start enforcing the law, our people, they will pay no attention. They drive without driving licences, so they should not drive,” Interior Minister Sar Kheng told the forum, which is made up of both national and provincial officials, as well representatives of the police force.
Kheng’s licence remarks presumably apply only to cars as Prime Minister Hun Sen announced last month that they would no longer be required for driving a motorbike.
According to data from the National Road Safety Committee, in the month of January, following the introduction of the new Traffic Law, authorities had stopped and checked over 970,000 vehicles, fining over 100,000 drivers for offences including driving without a licence and drunk driving. Fines have netted close to $500,000, the committee says.
Ear Chariya, director of the Institute for Road Safety, welcomed the government efforts yesterday, but said the committees would need proper funding to implement their plans, which, he added, would need to be clearly defined.
“[T]here should be another independent group to evaluate whether or not those seven groups are doing their work effectively,” he said.