The Phnom Penh municipal police and their counterparts in several provinces have announced upcoming crackdowns on those who endanger others on the roads. It is hoped that tightened enforcement will lead to a reduction in the number of casualties caused by traffic accidents.

According to a September 18 notice from the Takhmao town police in Kandal province, strict measures will be in place from September 25 onwards.

“We will focus on vehicles that violate the law in ways that could cause traffic accidents. We will not be conducting administrative inspections,” it said.

The Takhmao police called on all road users to respect the traffic laws and drive with responsibility for their own safety, and that of others.

The Prey Veng provincial police also issued a notice informing the public that heightened enforcement will begin October 1.

They warned that the number of accidents in the province increased in the third quarter of this year, jumping from 12 to 68 recorded crashes. The accidents left 22 people dead and 97 others seriously injured.

“In order to raise people’s awareness of the importance of adhering to traffic laws, we will begin strict enforcement from October on. We hope to reduce traffic accidents, protect lives and property, and also prevent other offences on the road,” it said.

The notice explained that the campaign will focus on drivers who speed and those who drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“Motorcyclists – please wear helmets and use your rear view mirrors correctly. All other vehicle drivers must have the correct driver’s licence and wear seatbelts. They should not be dangerously overloaded, and should follow the posted speed limits,” it added.

Deputy National Police chief Chuon Narin – who doubles as Phnom Penh police chief – chaired a September 15 meeting to outline plans to strengthen traffic law enforcement throughout the country.

He said the aim is to reduce accidents, as the cost to people and property remains a concern.

Kim Pagna, country director of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, expressed his support for the enforcement campaigns. He considered stricter enforcement a highly effective measure to reduce casualties from traffic accidents.

He urged police officers to focus on those who do not wear helmets or seatbelts, drive over the speed limits or under the influence, overtake other vehicles in a dangerous manner, or use their phones while driving.

“It is important that officers demand a fine according to each offence as stated under the law. If they tolerate by taking less in exchange for not issuing a receipt, the money would end up in their pocket. This would undermine the effectiveness of law enforcement,” he said on September 19.

He requested that the authorities implement this campaign as widely as possible, particularly in high-risk locations.

According to Sub-Decree 39 dated March 17, 2020 concerning the road traffic law, fines start at 60,000 riel ($15) for offending motorcycles, tricycles, trailers and four-wheel trailers, and 120,000 riel for larger vehicles.