Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Only 1,000 of Cambodia’s 20,000 tuk-tuk drivers legal




Only 1,000 of Cambodia’s 20,000 tuk-tuk drivers legal

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tuk-tuks on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh. On Thursday, a Ministry of Public Works and Transport senior official said only 3,000 of the Kingdom’s more than 20,000 tuk-tuk drivers had so far taken a driving test. Hong Menea

Only 1,000 of Cambodia’s 20,000 tuk-tuk drivers legal

A senior official at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport told The Post on Thursday that only 3,000 of the Kingdom’s more than 20,000 tuk-tuk drivers had so far taken a driving test during a three-month “grace period”, with only a third passing.

On April 9, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said 98 per cent of all tuk-tuk drivers “didn’t know the traffic laws and did not have a driving licence”, also announcing that the ministry was giving them three months to get one or face fines.

But Chhoun Voun, director of the General Department of Land Transport at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told The Post on Thursday that so far only 3,000 drivers had heeded Chanthol’s warning.

“Of more than 3,000 participants, more than 1,000 drivers from the capital and provinces passed the driving test and received a tuk-tuk licence from the Department of Public Works and Transport. Nine hundred and seventy-seven of the more than 1,000 who passed were in Phnom Penh,” Voun said.

He added that the ministry was urging all of its Phnom Penh and provincial departments to add further courses to make it easier for tuk-tuk drivers to take a driving test before the July 9 deadline passed.

Chanthol warned that after that date the traffic law would be strictly enforced and tuk-tuk drivers caught without a licence would face fines.

Leng Bun Thoeun, 38, the driver of an Indian-style tuk-tuk in Phnom Penh, told The Post on Thursday that he had not applied for a test.

“I have not enrolled for the test nor am I learning to pass the tuk-tuk drivers exam because I passed the test to drive a minivan two years ago. I think I can use [the minivan driving licence] as a substitute for the tuk-tuk licence,” he said.

However, Voun explained to The Post that as Bun Thoeun’s tuk-tuk’s gear and steering systems were different to other vehicles, he would not be able to do so.

The new traffic laws would not permit people to substitute driving licences across vehicle types, he said.

Mom Visal, a tuk-tuk driver operating under PassApp, said he had received his tuk-tuk licence more than a week ago. Visal, who also has a minivan licence, told The Post on Thursday that he spent a day learning the road traffic law, also paying 40,000 riel ($10) for the exam and a health check-up.

“The tuk-tuk test is similar to the exam for other vehicles, consisting of theory section and a driving test. I passed the exam and got my driving licence over a week ago. Three among 10 of my friends taking the tuk-tuk test failed the theory section,” he said.

The theory test consisted of 35 questions and required 28 correct answers to pass, Visal said. He added that those who failed the theory section would have to spend more than 10,000 riel ($2.50) to retake the driving test.

Ear Chariya, an adviser for the Road Safety Institute, on Thursday encouraged all road users, especially drivers of tuk-tuks, to enrol in the road traffic law course and get a licence for their vehicle.

“People in general and tuk-tuk drivers specifically registering for the course, learning the road traffic law and getting a driving licence will reduce traffic accidents on the road,” he said.

He called on police officers to firmly and fairly enforce the law in a transparent manner to ensure that everybody abided by them.

He also urged all tuk-tuk drivers who were yet to pass the test do so before July 9 as after this date traffic police would impose fines in accordance with the law. This would also require them to take the test within three to six months.

“Anyone who does not have a driving licence will face fines, and their case will be sent to court after the deadline has passed,” he said.

There were 1,076 traffic accidents in the Kingdom during the first three months of this year, killing 513 people and injuring a further 1,592, according to a report by the National Police’s Department of Traffic Police and Public Order.

The report indicated that traffic accidents in the first three months of this year increased 31 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The death toll increased by seven per cent (33 people) and injuries by 29 per cent (358 people).

Most traffic accidents occurred in Phnom Penh – where 91 people were killed – followed by Kampong Speu province (39) and Preah Sihanouk province (32).

On average, road accidents killed six people and injured 18 more each day.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped