Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Traffic law delayed, but still much in play

Traffic law delayed, but still much in play

Traffic law delayed, but still much in play

6 traffic

The election season and the business of campaigning will delay a long-awaited traffic law that advocates say will save hundreds of lives lost on Cambodia’s roads every year, a senior official said yesterday.

Speaking to reporters outside of a planning and budgeting workshop at the Sunway Hotel in Phnom Penh, Chhon Von, the deputy secretary of the National Road Safety Committee, said the law – still in draft form – would have been passed this year if not for the distracting nature of the national election.

“Most of the government officials are busy with campaigning and getting ready for the election, that’s why we delay it until next year,” he said, adding that the law remains a priority.

The revised statute builds on an existing one adopted in 2007 by adding helmet mandates for passengers on motorbikes, and increasing fines for speeding and drunk driving, which account for the majority of accidents.

According to a National Road Safety Committee report, there were 1,977 deaths and 5,352 injuries last year.

An aggressive media campaign, alarming crash statistics (on average, five people die every day in incidents) and a recent spate of high-profile accidents have pushed the issue of road safety to the fore. Prime Minister Hun Sen has even publicly called for reform, giving it a further sense of urgency.

But experts say that the election is not the only barrier to passing the law. Drafters want to get it right, down to the last detail. At the meeting yesterday, for example, there were lengthy talks about more specifications for baby seats.

“I’m not surprised [about the wait],” Ear Chariya, road safety program manager for Handicap International, said yesterday.

“[But] I think now it’s a priority. If we compare with the current version of the traffic law, it took about 10 years for it to pass,” he said. With this latest version, Chariya estimated that it will take about three.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to