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Draft law puts high price on drunk driving

Evening in central Phnom Penh
Evening in central Phnom Penh. AFP

Draft law puts high price on drunk driving

Drunk drivers could be fined $1000 under a new draft traffic law approved yesterday by The Council of Ministers. The legislation includes a raft of measures aimed at reducing the number of deaths and injuries on the roads.

Among the draft law’s 92 articles are new fines for motorcycle passengers who ride without a helmet and increased penalties for speeding, driving without a licence and riding a motorbike without a helmet.

“The main causes of traffic accidents are drunk driving, driving over the speed limit, driving without a license and ignoring traffic laws,” said a statement released after the meeting.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the new draft law would increase the maximum penalty for the drunk drivers from 800,000 riel ($200) to 4,000,000 riel ($1,000).

He said he expected to see the number of incidents decrease after the law was enacted.​ Other specifics of the laws are expected to be revealed when they go to the National Assembly for approval in the coming weeks.

Director-general of the Department of Transportation Chan Dara said that the law would help to reduce traffic accidents.

“Traffic accidents are a concern among all road users,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport each day an average of five people are killed and 16 are injured in traffic accidents on Cambodian roads.

Road safety consultant Ear Chariya applauded the new draft laws.

“When the penalties are increased people will have more fear of violating the laws,” said Chariya, who is currently providing advice to the government and Asian Development Bank.

“In other countries we have seen that when the penalties are higher people pay more respect to the law.”

Additional reporting by Will Jackson

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