PM wants tougher road laws

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Last year, an average of 5.5 people died per day on the Kingdom’s roads. Hun Sen’s Facebook page

Prime Minister Hun Sen said he supports amendments that will see traffic lawbreakers receive harsher punishments in an effort to reduce accidents.

The prime minister said this when he attended an annual meeting to review last year’s work and set goals for action plan 2020 at the Ministry of Interior on Thursday.

Hun Sen said: “I request that various measures are paid attention to. Officials have to adhere to the law and enforce traffic measures. We also need to amend the law to make a change.

“Drivers who drive dangerously will have a hole punched in their licences as well as a 400,000 riel [$100] fine. When police see the hole, they will know that the driver had previously broken the law.

“Do it a second time, and the offenders must be fined double the initial amount. Upon breaking the law a third time, their fines must be doubled again, meaning they should pay 1.6 million riel. A third hole also means that drivers must be deprived of their right to drive for a year or two.”

Hun Sen also urged the ministry’s technical groups to give priority to revising the amendments correctly and added that he was lending his support so the ministry could do whatever is required to reduce traffic accidents.

He said a driver who is not allowed to drive for a year or two can have his children, friend, or whoever else to drive because if he drives and gets caught, he may attempt to bribe officials.

“Officials, you need to enforce the law and not take bribes. Do not let the person continue to drive when he is dangerous on the roads,” Hun Sen stressed.

A ministry report on traffic accident issues said that last year, an average of 5.5 people had died per day. This figure has declined so far this year.

The prime minister said that the decline in traffic accidents last month and this month was attributed to two factors – crackdowns on alcohol and strengthening of the law. Therefore, he supported further law measures to continue to reduce incidents.

He said the measures would not stifle the right of drivers to be on the road. Instead, they would ensure the safety and protection of drivers and passengers.

He thanked the majority of citizens that had participated in abiding by the traffic law, by wearing protective helmets, stating only a few people had still continued to break the law.

“Several millions of people listen to my speeches, and many of them think the prime minister plans to impose some kind of punishment on citizens.

“But if you think again, I protect your life, because if someone commits a crime for the first time, the second time, a third time and nothing is done, the fourth time, you are dead,” he said.

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said that in the past, some law enforcement officials had failed to enforce traffic laws.

He said next week, the working group of the ministry would hold a meeting to discuss the amendments to traffic laws, and fines. “We have laid out measures for when motorcyclists don’t wear protective helmets. We detain motorcycles and offenders. We then fine them.”

Kong Sovann, a technical road safety adviser at the Ministry of Rural Development, lauded the measures. He said the amendments to the law are a good step to do whatever they can to stop traffic accidents.

He claimed that without doing something, accident numbers would begin to grow again.

“We must have tough measures. If not, it will result in deaths. It is the right time for law enforcement officials to enforce the law also because a person’s life is of extreme value. This must be done as soon as possible,” he said.