Scanning tech said to deter drivers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
People commute on Monivong Blvd in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district. Hean Rangsey

A scanning technology is being developed by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to deter drivers from violating road traffic laws. Offenders caught by the system will not only be fined but also lose points on their licences while repeat offenders will eventually have their licence revoked.

An official from the ministry said that number of points deducted from the driver’s licence would be determined according to the type of offence stated in the road traffic law. The ministry will make a public announcement when there is a formal decision.

In a discussion with the delegation from Asian Development Bank (ADB) via remote on April 6, public works minister Sun Chanthol said the rate of traffic accidents has seriously affected people’s lives. Therefore, the ministry has set up the new information technology (IT) system to capture images of vehicles violating traffic laws.

He said this system has a programme to scan a driver’s licence that contains a QR code and points are deducted according to the offence they commit. The aim is to reduce road accidents.

Chanthol said: “The ministry’s IT working group is pushing to finish this system and present it to Minister of Interior and National Road Safety Committee chairman Sar Kheng prior to actual implementation.”

“This new IT system is supported by ADB which has provided good and continuous cooperation. The support from this institution has assisted Cambodia to successfully implement projects,” he said.

Heang Sotheayuth, spokesman of the public works ministry, told The Post on April 7 that the ministry had decided to set up a new system because some drivers are not deterred by just a fine.

“We have prepared a procedure for authorities to note the fine and how many points are to be deducted. When a driver has no more points, the licence is revoked. If they still drive, it would be illegal,” he said.

The new system will be piloted at 100 to 200 locations after the first quarter of 2021 and after receiving approval from the interior minister.

“This pilot project can be done through a mobile app and sent to police officials to make it easier for them to operate. We will train them with all the information so that they can record or copy it into the system as soon as there is a fine,” he said.

Kong Sovann, technical adviser and deputy director of Community Traffic Safety Programme team of Rural Road Development Project Phase 2 under the Ministry of Rural Development, supports the new IT system.

He said this system will prompt drivers to obey traffic laws.

“The system for point deduction is a good thing that other countries have implemented successfully, such as Australia and Europe.

“An important point is to study scientifically on the challenges. Otherwise, there will be a lot of controversy and this effort will be wasted,” he said.