Battambang provincial police have seized 1,824 illegal LED and “laser” headlights – which experts say can be dangerous to oncoming drivers – from nearly 1,000 vehicles since November.
Noy Sophy, head of statistics in the provincial traffic office, said officials are implementing the Traffic Law by confiscating the overly bright lights, and educating and fining the drivers up to 50,000 riel ($12.25).
“Since November 2016, officials seized 1,824 laser and LED lights from 956 vehicles including six motorbikes. The items are impounded at our office,” Sophy said.
The Traffic Law forbids “adding lights or signal signs to a vehicle improperly”. Hok Hoeut, deputy provincial traffic chief, said most of the lights confiscated were aftermarket additions mounted on heavy trucks. “The light is as bright as sunlight,” he said, claiming they can affect drivers up to 100 metres away. Hoeut is also appealing to mechanics to stop making the alterations.
Run Rothveasna, traffic director at the Ministry of Interior, said the lights are illegal everywhere but admitted the law has been put into effect more strictly in Battambang. “In Phnom Penh, we mostly focus on helmets and drunk driving,” he said.
Ear Chariya, director of the National Road Safety Institute, agreed that the lights were “very dangerous” but said the enforcement of laws like this depend entirely on the whims of local authorities. “I don’t believe they will enforce it for a long time,” Chariya said.