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Kandal swaps fines for helmets

A traffic police official sells a helmet instead of charging a fine for a violation of the Traffic Law  which requires that a helmet be worn while riding a motorbike in Kandal province last week. Photo supplied
A traffic police official sells a helmet instead of charging a fine for a violation of the Traffic Law which requires that a helmet be worn while riding a motorbike in Kandal province last week. Photo supplied

Kandal swaps fines for helmets

An initiative started recently by police in Kandal province, where drivers caught without a helmet or rearview mirror are made to buy the item from officers rather than pay a fine, may be expanded across the country, a senior Interior Ministry official said yesterday.

Last Friday, police in Koh Thom district began switching fines for safety gear, according to chief Thoeun Bunthan, who said 70 helmets were sold the first day, with a marked drop in offences the next.

Reached yesterday, the National Police’s chief of public order and land traffic Run Rath Veasna said trialling the alternative approach for three months would soon be discussed with the Interior Ministry’s leadership.

“If we fine 15,000 riel, it is the same price for a helmet, so we think it would be good to stop fining for three months, but instead let them pay the price for helmet,” he said, adding that he’d like to see it implemented across the country.

Maintaining that no profit was made from the helmets, which were sold at market price, Bunthan said his team had seen an opportunity to help.

“If we fine, we get money but people have nothing, so we talked with our team and saw that it would be good to give helmets or mirrors and let them pay.”

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