Motorbike Buyers Need to Pass Road Safety Quiz, Minister Says

Motorbike shoppers will have to watch 10 driver safety videos and pass a quiz about them before they can walk away with their purchases beginning early next year, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the announcement of a $120,000 driver safety campaign, Mr. Chanthol chuckled as he described the new scheme.

“The customer must watch the spots and sign the agreement—‘I watched the spots’—before taking the motorbike out of the shop,” he said on Tuesday in Phnom Penh.

Though he said the details of the plan have yet to be finalized, Mr. Chanthol said shop owners would show the clips to customers and ask them to take a 10-question quiz before signing the agreement.

Three of the ads will cover drunk driving while the other seven focus on speeding, helmets and other safety concerns, and will also run on TV5, PNN, and MyTV throughout next year, the minister said.

Through television and tuk-tuk ads as well as high school theater performances, the ministry hopes to bring about a drop from the 13,669 road fatalities recorded last year. The campaign is spurred by an agreement signed by Mr. Chanthol with the Asia Pacific International Wine and Spirits Alliance.

Ear Charaya, director of the Institute for Road Safety, agreed that driver education was crucial, but said stricter licensing and enforcement would be more efficient.

In January, Prime Minister Hun Sen scaled back a requirement in a new traffic law that would have required drivers of motorbikes with engines smaller than 125cc to be licensed.

“The majority of drivers do not have a license,” Mr. Charaya said, adding the mandatory educational spot viewings at motorbike shops was no substitute for actual testing.

Pin Ty, a 43-year-old Honda motorbike shop owner in Battambang City, said he happily comply with any new directive.

“I want my customers to understand the impact of not respecting traffic laws,” Mr. Ty said.

(Additional reporting by Ben Paviour)

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