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Traffic fines to rise in bid to improve safety

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Interior Minister Sar Kheng says amendments to the Traffic Law are being made to raise fines, including a bump from $3.75 to $12.50 for not wearing a helmet. Heng Chivoan

Traffic fines to rise in bid to improve safety

Minister of Interior and National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) chairman Sar Kheng on Monday led a meeting to pass sub-decrees on road traffic violations which will be temporarily put in place while the current road traffic law is amended.

Sar Kheng’s Facebook post said the meeting was attended by around 70 officials, including from his and other relevant ministries, legal counsels of the Council of Ministers Office, members of the National Road Safety Committee, the National Police Commissariat and Phnom Penh Police Commissariat.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman and member of the NRSC Pal Chandara told The Post that the sub-decrees will see fines increase three to four times the current amount.

“In the event of a draft sub-decree coming into force, the fines in the previous law of 15,000 riel ($3.75) for not wearing a helmet would be upped to 50,000 riel, and fines of up to 20,000 riel will be raised to 60,000 riel,” he said.

Chandara also told The Post that the draft sub-decree on penalties was almost 100 per cent approved at the meeting.

“Pending minor amendments, it will be officially announced and provisionally put into use instead of the road traffic law,” he said.

The sub-decree, Chandara said, will prescribe penalties of three or four times higher than previous fines, and that he expects the higher fines to result in people obeying the law. This, in turn, will reduce accidents and save lives.

“Higher fines will compel our citizens to comply with the law. They should not fear the police but the law. It’s not about the fines, but saving lives,” he said.

Ministry of Rural Development special adviser and deputy team leader of its Community-Based Road Safety Programme, Kong Sovann, told The Post the police’s educational approach to get citizens to obey the law was less effective.

“Therefore, along with educational measures, we will introduce higher fines as they have proven to be more effective in ensuring people obey traffic laws.

“If the law is strict enough, wearing helmets will increase and drink driving will decrease immediately.

“In other countries, there are higher fines and they have proven successful. Firm and effective law enforcement is the way to save people’s lives,” Sovann said.

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