August 16, 2014
The Council of Ministers on Friday, August 15, approved a new draft traffic law aimed at improving the safety of Cambodia’s notoriously dangerous roads, with only legislative approval standing in the way of the bill being passed into law.
The draft law, which includes changes to 64 articles, the addition of 15 new articles and removal of 18, will be sent to the National Assembly “as soon as possible,” according to Chhuon Vuon, vice secretary general of the National Road Safety Committee.
Drunk drivers will face stiffer fines under the new law, up from a maximum of $1,000 to nearly $4,000, and all motorcycle passengers—which will be limited to two adults and one child—will be required to wear helmets.
“I think the new draft traffic law will respond to people’s needs and promote implementation of the law to reduce deaths from accidents,” said Mr. Vuon, whose committee is responsible for overseeing the implementation of traffic laws.
When the law comes into force, oversight of the road safety committee will be shifted from the Ministry of Public Works to the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Vuon said, with Sar Kheng, the interior minister, becoming the new chairman. Mr. Kheng will replace current chairman Tram Iv Tek, the minister of public works and transport.
“We want this committee under one umbrella so it’s easy to coordinate,” said Mr. Voun, noting that the Ministry of Interior is already responsible for the officers charged with implementing the law on the ground.
In March, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in one of his regular nationally televised speeches that more Cambodians die per year from road accidents today than during the tumultuous years following the fall of the Khmer Rouge.
“Even during the years of war people did not die every day, yet on average, more than five people die every day in Cambodia due to traffic accidents,” he said. “In 10 days, 50 or 60 people die. About 600 will die every 100 days and in one year, more than 2,000 people [die], with about 10,000 more injured.”
Read the full article: The Cambodia Daily, 16 August, 2014