The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has started to amend the language of the traffic law to make the keywords and meaning more understandable than before. Officials said that language edits are meant to prevent using some words that have more than one meaning.
The spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Heang Sotheayuth told The Post on Wednesday that the main purpose is to change some words in the law to make it easier to understand and to avoid using words differently.
As an example, he said, citizens and officials call licence plates “Slal Lek” but the ministry refers to them as “Plak Lek” which is what is written in the law.
“For example the Khmer words for phone and card contained punctuation, but later the punctuation is no longer used. Is it illegal? It’s not, but it is time that we use words in a standardised way,” Sotheayuth said.
He said some phrases are too long or hard to understand and should be shorter edited as well.
Secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport Touch Chankosal led a meeting on Monday with relevant officials on amendments to the traffic law.
He said modifications to the terminology, meaning and definition of the law would continue to be discussed and passed on to all relevant institutions for review before becoming official.
However, Sotheayuth said the changes would be more about words and phrases rather than changing the meaning. But he did not know when the amendment would be completed because it had just begun and will take time.
Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak supports the amendment of the traffic law, saying that some aspects of the law have not been clearly defined and will be interpreted differently when conflicts arise, such as pedestrian rights and the carrying of people on motorbikes.
“For example, in Article 8, the traffic law states that a motorcyclist can carry two people and add a child up to three years old wearing a helmet.
“But in the law, when it comes to interpretation, some would read that children under the age of three are not allowed to ride on motorbikes so this is not clear. For me, I want to make everything clear,” Ratanak said.