Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM presses for bike seizures

PM presses for bike seizures

PM presses for bike seizures

090521_03.jpg
090521_03.jpg

Hun Sen orders officials to amend road rules to allow police to impound motorbikes

Photo by:

TRACEY SHELTON

Traffic police pull over a motorcyclist for not wearing a helmet in Phnom Penh Wednesday on Monivong Boulevard.

POLICE could be empowered to seize and confiscate motorbikes without side mirrors under a Land Traffic Law amendment proposed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Drivers without helmets would also be subject to the amendment suggested in a speech Tuesday.

"I think that the best way to avoid and reduce road accidents in the future is to catch and hold onto motorbikes and stop levying fines," Hun Sen said during a speech at the Ministry of Interior.

The prime minister pressed the ministries of interior, justice, and public works and transport to cooperate closely to enforce the rules.

He added that road accidents were a serious problem that had negative effects on economic development and poverty reduction.

"Police must keep the motorbikes, and when the owners have helmets and side mirrors, they can get their motorbikes back, and I will grant the owners one litre of petrol as an encouragement for them," Hun Sen said.

A rising toll

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, the first four months of 2009 saw 2,137 accidents and 579 deaths on Cambodia's roads - a 1.58 percent increase on the same period last year.

The whole of 2008 saw 1,638 road deaths, and the loss of an estimated US$200 million worth of property.

Eung Chung Huor, general director of the General Transportation Department at the Transport Ministry, said that the ministry would re-examine existing traffic legislation to identify the articles that needed to be amended.

"We think that it will take a long time to amend this law because we have to check all the articles that are being enforced before sending it to the National Assembly," he said.

The Land Traffic Law, approved by the National Assembly in 2007, authorises police to issue on-the-spot 3,000 riel fines to motorbike drivers not wearing a helmet and 4,000 riels for those lacking side mirrors.

There are more than 1 million vehicles, including around 800,000 motorbikes and 200,000 cars, on Cambodia's roads.

Tin Prasoeur, Phnom Penh traffic police chief, told the Post Tuesday that despite the passage of the law, only around half of motorcyclists wear helmets and have side mirrors.

"I think it is good that the law [will] allow police to catch the motorbikes to warn those who do not respect the law because fining them does not seem to be very effective," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune