Owners of all types of motorcycles are going to be subjected to stiff new fines if they don’t get city-issued plates, Phnom Penh officials said Monday.
“They are going to be punished and have to pay for their mistakes,” Municipal Department of Public Works and Transportation Deputy Director Peng Sokun said Monday.
Although authorities still haven’t worked out how much to fine wayward motorcycle drivers, they have decided to order them to carry only government-sanctioned license plates. Authorities are also ordering motorcycle vendors not to sell any vehicles without also selling the official plates, Peng Sokun said.
City leaders are alarmed at the sight of plate-less motorcycles—or those with phony plates—zipping around the capital, Peng Sokun said. From now on, only those plates issued by the municipality will be considered legal. Commune chiefs will be charged with enforcing the ordinance, Peng Sokun said.
But some citizens have complained about having to pay large bribes to get their plates. One Phnom Penh resident said Monday the issue wasn’t even so much about money as time.
“Paying $12 for a state-numbered plate is not a problem. But the vital issue is time, because we wait a long time to get it done,” Veal Vong commune resident To Makara said.
The order could also hamper sales and disrupt business, motorcycle vendor Chea Kimhong said from his shop along Sihanouk Boulevard.
“Some of our customers come from the provinces, so it’s a different interest for them. Sometimes, the customers are unhappy with the color of the plates, or the numbers, because they think it will bring bad fortune,” he said.