Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Traffic Law fines set

Traffic Law fines set

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Students drive though Phnom Penh without helmets last month. The government is drafting a sub-decree that would see motorists fined five-times more for not wearing a helmet starting in January. Hong Menea

Traffic Law fines set

A sub-decree being drafted by the Interior Ministry is adding teeth in the form of markedly heavier fines to the Kingdom’s nearly 6-month-old, still yet-to-be enforced, Traffic Law.

Under the sub-decree’s terms, motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers who fail to wear a helmet will have to pay 15,000 riel ($3.75) – a five-fold increase on the 3,000 riel ($0.75) fine currently only levied against the vehicle’s drivers.

Penalties for not wearing seatbelts in cars will be similarly hiked, from 5,000 riel ($1.25) to 25,000 riel ($6.25).

For drivers and passengers in trucks, the new fines could reach 50,000 riel ($12.50). None of the fines will take effect until January.

The fines are part of an effort to combat overwhelming road fatalities, with an average in excess of six deaths per day on Cambodian roads in 2014 and 1,229 traffic deaths recorded in the first six months of this year.

While the seatbelt fines should apply to any passenger in a car, according the director of the Interior Ministry’s Public Order Department, Run Rathveasna, the police will be allowed to implement a measure of leeway.

“The law says everyone must wear seatbelts including backseat passengers, but in principle, police will only implement the law against front seat passengers,” he said yesterday. “For safety, everyone in the car should wear seatbelts.”

The sub-decree fills a gap in the new Traffic Law, approved in December 2015, which established stricter rules on crash helmets and the use of seatbelts, but did not state the penalties offenders would incur.

The sub-decree also establishes fines for a range of other offences, including driving without a licence, letting a child under the age of 10 sit in the passenger seat of a car, and using a mobile phone without an earpiece while driving.

Both the Traffic Law and the new sub-decree are set to come into force in January, with Rathveasna saying the coming months would be a phase of “education and awareness” during which authorities will communicate the coming changes to the public.

Independent road safety expert Chariya Ear welcomed the tougher penalties, suggesting the current level of fines was inadequate to deter motorists from offending.

“The increase of fines can help reduce crashes and make road users respect the law. They might think a 3,000 riel fine is acceptable for them,” he said.

However, Ear also warned that increased penalties could exacerbate corruption among traffic police, who commonly pocket fines.

“A clear mechanism to monitor them, such as having a hotline for people to report wrong-doing by officials, is needed,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Companies listed on CSX receive 50% deduction on income tax

    Tax incentives are granted to companies that have listed their shares or issued debt securities on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), whether they are small to medium-sized enterprises or large companies. The nine stock listed companies on the CSX – with seven listed on the Main

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Cambodia mourns over UK’s Queen Elizabeth II

    Cambodia has joined other nations around the world to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with King Norodom Sihanomi, Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin extending their condolences in separate letters. In his letter to the late Queen’s son –

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Railway project studies proceed

    The transport ministry is exploring options to expedite preliminary studies on key public railway infrastructure projects, especially the conversion of the Northern Railway Line that links to Thailand into high-speed rail. Railway freight and passenger transportation has been pinpointed as a major potential engine of