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New traffic law clears Senate, ready for King

Three young men travel on a motorcycle
Three young men travel on a motorcycle though the streets of Phnom Penh without helmets last month. Charlotte Pert

New traffic law clears Senate, ready for King

The Senate passed Cambodia’s revamped traffic law on Tuesday, and one official said it could go into effect as soon as February.

Most significantly, the legislation caps the number of passengers on a motorbike to one adult and one child, requires both drivers and passengers who are above the age of 3 and riding a motorbike to wear a helmet, and hikes the fine for drunken driving to a maximum of $1,000.

Preap Chanvibol, deputy secretary general for the National Road Safety Committee, said that after King Norodom Sihamoni signs the law – which could take up to 20 days – it will be implemented in Phnom Penh 10 days later and across the country 20 days from then.

“We want the law to be passed as soon as possible to lessen traffic accidents,” he said, adding that the government will disseminate educational materials before rolling out the new rules.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Tram Iv Tek has previously said the period of implementation could take six months.

Ear Chariya, an independent road safety consultant, said six months are required to provide updates on the changes, since the traffic police and the public have to have an adequate understanding of the new law.

“They have to broadcast it before implementing the fines,” Chariya said.

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