Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Land Traffic Law abused

Land Traffic Law abused

Land Traffic Law abused

Dear Editor,

Regarding the article "PM presses for bike seizures"(May 21, 2009), the police could be empowered to seize and confiscate motorbikes without side mirrors and drivers without helmets under a Land Traffic Law amendment proposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

At the moment, we can see that officials at police posts on our streets and boulevards don't all have their proper identity numbers or uniforms. Rather, they seem more intent on pulling over motorbikes and collecting "fines". Perhaps officials think that these "guilty" fines from motorbike drivers will enhance the national income in some positive way.   

In fact, the money from these fines goes directly into the pockets of traffic police officials. Cambodians and foreigners alike who pay such fines regularly complain that officers never provide receipts for money received. Such receipts serve a number of important purposes, not least of which is preventing drivers from being cited and fined for the same "infraction" more than once each day. Any number of drivers can attest to being stopped and fined at one police post only to be pulled over again at the next and forced to pay because they have no receipt.

Another inequity committed by traffic police is their attempts to fine foreigners at a much more exorbitant rate. My foreign friends say traffic police regularly attempt to extract fines of between US$5 and $20. But Cambodia's traffic laws do not establish one rate for Cambodians and another for foreigners. All drivers, regardless of nationality, are legally obligated to pay only between 3,000 riels and 6,000 riels for motorbike infractions.

I can appreciate that traffic police officials work hard in the sun and the rain, and perhaps that is why the government provides them with certain "incentives". But the Land Traffic Law makes certain legal stipulations that are not being followed. This law, approved by the National Assembly in December 2006, has this to say in the third paragraph of Article 72:

"Traffic police officials must be punished in jail from 1 to 3 years or/and fined from 2,000,000 to 6,000,000 riels for any official who (1) forces a guilty driver to pay an incorrect fine, or (2) receives money and then issues an incorrect receipt, or fails to issue a receipt at all."  

Corruption among traffic police officials leads to a loss in national revenues. Moreover, many drivers face multiple fines in a single day, while foreigners are threatened with fines many times more than the legal limit allowed under the Land Traffic Law.  

Therefore, the government should take any action against this corruption, done in violation of the Land Traffic Law. Meanwhile, all drivers should be advised not to surrender their driver's licences or registration to Traffic Police officers.

Tong Soprach

Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or P.O.鈥圔ox 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to