Interior Minister Sar Kheng said the government remains firm in its position on the strict implementation of the Road Traffic Law in order to protect the lives and welfare of the people.
Mr Kheng, who is also head of the National Road Safety Committee, said this during the appointment ceremony for the new Kep provincial governor at Kep provincial hall on Friday.
The government has tightened the Road Traffic Law with heftier fines, and people across the country are participating more to obey the law, with traffic accident rates also decreasing.
Mr Kheng said some individuals, however, have taken the opportunity to criticise the implementation of the law as being a burden on the people, while Cambodia is facing the issue of COVID-19, and have said the implementation has been carried out too quickly.
However, he said: “We have already announced that 2020 is the year targeted for strict law enforcement on the Road Traffic Law. Before that, we have also done a lot of groundwork, especially in terms of education and dissemination of the Road Traffic Law. When it was time for us to do so, some people say it is too early, without education and dissemination.”
Mr Kheng said the implementation to tighten up the law has been carried out to protect the lives and welfare of the people and not to burden them.
“Whoever criticises, we do not have to care as long as we are doing our patriotic duty to serve the people,” he said. “If we backtrack, no one will listen or follow rules in the future, so we have to go ahead.”
“Samdech Techo [Hun Sen] and I have agreed that we are not going to backtrack, because if we do, we do not know when we will have the opportunity to implement it [traffic law]. Moreover, if foreign tourists come to our country and see traffic chaos, they would say that the country has no order. Therefore, I would like to call on everyone to participate in strengthening the implementation of the traffic law,” Mr Kheng added.
He also advised law enforcement officers to adhere to the code of ethics , carry out their work according to the law and only stop motorists who have broken traffic rules without resorting to setting up roadblocks to check for documents from road users.
“Our law enforcement officers must behave in a gentle, respectful and professional manner. They should not take this opportunity [strict law enforcement] to check or ask money from people, which is inappropriate,” Mr Kheng said.
He said that for this month up to Friday, the number of accidents fell by 15 cases, with 80 injuries fewer than during the same period in April.
At the event, new Kep governor Som Piseth, expressed his commitment to enforce the Road Traffic Law, along with other laws, and to eliminate any inaction from officials which affect and harm the people.
“We will continue to strive to effectively implement the laws, regulations, and guidelines of the government that have been issued, especially the recommendations of Samdech Techo [Prime Minister Hun Sen] to enforce the law without exception,” he said.
National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Chhay Kim Khoeun said in a report yesterday that from May 1, when the new traffic rules were implemented, up to Saturday, traffic police officers nationwide checked and fined a total of 43,530 motorists, including 31,755 motorcyclists, for all types of offences.
He said the most notable violations include riding motorcycles without crash helmets, not having licence plates, ignoring traffic signs, speeding, driving without seatbelts, overloading, driving under the influence of alcohol and using mobile phone while driving.