The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has announced that it intends to amend several articles of the Law on Road Traffic in order to reduce accidents.

The decision was made during a meeting of the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) working group tasked with preparing the amendments.

The March 18 meeting was chaired by ministry secretary of state Min Meanvy. In attendance were representatives from the Office of the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Interior.

The meeting approved a draft which was returned from the Council of Ministers at the end of the sixth-mandate government.

According to a transport ministry social media post, several points were adjusted, in accordance with the Kingdom’s socio-economic development.

The meeting agreed to amend Clause 7 of Article 7, which ensures “nothing obscures the view of a driver or prevents law enforcement authorities from seeing them”. 

It will also integrate Article 54 into Article 52, to ensure transparency in transportation businesses, making it easier to control traffic safety and manage tax collection.

The two articles deal with commercial transportation and repair licensing.

“These amendments will complement the roles and responsibilities of the judicial police, ensuring there is no overlap with other authorities. They also clearly identify the penalties for those who breach these articles,” said the ministry.

Following the meeting, the working group will submit their draft to the public works minister for approval.

Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation country director Kim Pagna said on March 19 that the decision to amend the articles is a positive step and will improve the effectiveness of traffic laws and reduce the number of road accidents.

However, he noted that several civil society organisations (CSOs) have suggested the need for an amendment to the law which currently states that no driver’s licence is require for motorcycle with engines of up to 125cc. 

He suggested that if the ministry was not prepared to rescind the “no licence” article, the law should require that all motorcyclists undergo training. At present, he explained, motorcyclists learn how to drive on their own or from friends and family members, and are often unsafe, with little knowledge of traffic laws or signage.

“The amendment should look at the causes of the accidents that result in the most deaths. I also think drivers who flee the scene of an accident should receive harsher penalties, especially if alcohol is involved,” he said.

He hopes that the government would gather additional inputs from CSOs and the private sector to ensure the law is as effective as possible.