December 2, 2014
The National Assembly approved the first two chapters of a new 12-chapter Land Traffic Law on Monday as lawmakers from the ruling CPP and opposition CNRP came together to push through legislation intended to bring down the high rate of deaths on Cambodia’s roads.
With 109 of 123 lawmakers present, the two chapters, which contain the new law’s preamble and articles concerning traffic signs, passed with nearly unanimous support.
Transport Minister Tram Iv Tek said that last year, 1,950 people died and 5,671 were seriously injured on roads, an average of 5.3 dead and 16.5 seriously injured per day, and that this year was looking worse.
He said that 1,772 people had been killed on Cambodia’s roads as of the end of October, about 5.9 per day.
“Traffic accidents make Cambodia lose a lot of money each year, and this does not include the social consequences like the orphans, the widows, the handicapped people and the impoverished people,” Mr. Iv Tek said.
The transport minister said the new traffic law was developed with the main causes of road deaths in mind.
“There are three factors that have caused a lot of people to die: The first is speeding, the second is drunkenness and the third is not wearing helmets,” he said.
“I think in 2015, when this law is passed, we will try our best to reduce the number of deaths by 10 percent [per year] in order to reach [a reduction of] 50 percent by 2020,” he added.
The National Assembly will meet again Wednesday to vote on the new law’s remaining chapters, including proposed fines of between 800,000 and 4,000,000 riel (about $200 to $1,000) for driving with a blood alcohol above the legal limit.
Source: The Cambodia Daily, 2 December, 2014