Implementation of the new Land Traffic Law that was passed in December will officially begin on January 1, an official said Monday, with police focusing on the leading causes of traffic accidents, starting with speeding.
The law includes harsher penalties for offenses such as speeding and drunk driving, while new restrictions limit the number of motorbike passengers to one adult and one child and require passengers to wear helmets.
Speaking at a workshop in Phnom Penh hosted by Handicap International, Ty Long, deputy director of the National Police’s public order department, said a nationwide campaign to enforce the law would take a step-by-step approach.
Enforcing new speed limits and the penalties for breaking them would come first, he said, followed by drunk driving.
“Motorcyclists die at a much higher rate than drivers of other vehicles due to speeding violations,” he said, adding that 70 percent of all accidents involved speeding.
“The new law limits motorbike drivers to 30 kph in towns and 60 kph on the outskirts, while other vehicles are limited to 40 kph and 80 kph,” he said.
Monday’s workshop coincided with the release of Handicap International’s “Study on Speed Monitoring,” which found that the number of people who regularly drive over the speed limit in Cambodia—the leading cause of traffic accidents in the country—rose from 48.2 percent in 2010 to 66.8 percent last year.
The study also found that the public is generally ignorant of speed limits and road safety laws. In rural areas in 2014, just 4 percent of car drivers and 2 percent of motorbike drivers knew the legal speed limits.
At the workshop, Mr. Long said new speed limits will be prominently displayed on roadsides, while police in 11 provinces were already using radar guns to enforce existing limits on national highways.
“Speaking frankly, all of you drivers should be careful,” he said. “Because our forces are using uniformed police and police in civilian clothing to monitor speeding, both day and night.”