The Phnom Penh Municipality has ordered all motorcycle drivers to install wing mirrors on their vehicles and will soon allow traffic police to start fining those caught without them, an official said.
The order came into effect Friday and applies to 500,000 motorcycles on the streets of the capital, according to a copy of the directive.
“Any motorbike driving without mirrors is breaking the traffic law,” deputy municipal governor Pa Socheatvong said. “We are giving people a week to test. We’ll see what the result will be.”
No one will be fined during the weeklong trial period, but after that time the municipality will consider when the police can start fining people, and how much offenders will have to pay.
SRP lawmaker Son Chhay welcomed the new rule.
“I think mirrors are very important to save drivers. They only cost $1 or $2 but they can save people’s lives,” he said.
He added that the municipality should do all it can to ensure the rule is obeyed, as drivers often make dangerous turnoffs without looking behind them.
But Son Chhay also said that people should be given a timeframe of at least five months to install mirrors before the police begin demanding fines.
If the public is only given a week, he said, the price of mirrors will likely inflate considerably as people rush to buy them.
He also said that the rule should not be selectively enforced, and that police, military police and the children of high-ranking government officials should be made subject to the law.
So Khom, a motorcycle taxi driver from Kandal province working in Phnom Penh, said he would obey the new rule.
“I will follow the order,” he said, adding that a mirror will make it much safer to turn off the road. “We will be able to see everything behind us,” he said.