Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Minister of Interior, Minister of Justice, and Minister fo Public works and transports to work together and examine the articles of Traffic Law to encourage all motorbike rider to wear helmets whenever using the road. Road traffic accidents are now a major concern for the government.
Speaking before the ministry of the interior, May 19 he said "road traffic accidents are a national scourge. To reduce the rate of deaths and injuries i suggest that all relevant officials and ministries work hard together and take immediate measures to reduce the rate of road fatalities." The Prime Minister said that early this year motorcyclists were informed that they must wear helmet. However, only 50% are currently doing so.Hun Sen suggested that relevant authorities examine the possibility of confiscating motorbikes from those riders who ignored the law.
"I think that the system of fines has not worked. Confiscating the machines until such time as the rider is willing to obey the traffic laws may be more effective"
El Narin, Deputy chief of the Municipal traffic police office in the Ministry of Interior, said that currently about 55% of Phnom Penh's motorcycle riders wear helmets. when the helmet campaign began in early January 2009, 90% of motorcyclists wore helmets. The reason for the decrease he suggested was a lack of manpower that prevented permanent staffing of checkpoints.
He continued that to reduce the rate of road traffic accidents his peronel have been educating road users about traffic law and how to ride defensively. He also said that the Municipal Traffic Police have installe ten speed cameras on main roads and checkpoints in Phnom Penh. The traffic police have also been provided with breathalyzer to detect drunk drivers.
Pea Kimvong, Road Safety Awareness officer with Handicap International Belgium (HIB) said since road traffic laws come into enforce in September 2007, enforcement had been patchy resulting in modest...