After weeks of public announcements warning that Phnom Penh traffic police would begin strictly enforcing the city’s new laws against speeding and drunk driving on May 1, the much-hyped equipment for identifying speeding and drunken drivers was noticeably absent from the roads Friday.
Deputy national police chief Ouk Kimlek said the police needed more time to publicize the new rules against speeding and drinking and driving, though TV and radio commercials announcing the plan have been airing since at least mid-March.
Phnom Penh traffic police chief Tin Prasoeur said that his officers, despite having received training, still had concerns about using devices such as the alcohol Breath-alyzer and speeding cameras.
“The plans existed to begin enforcing the law today, but we did not try it because we have to look at the equipment again,” Mr Tin Prasoer said, adding that he did not know why the equipment needed to be examined further.
Asked when the police would now be tackling drink driving and speeding, Mr Tin Prasoer said: “When it is implemented, it will be announced.”
An official for Handicap International Belgium, an NGO that monitors road accidents in Cambodia and sponsored training sessions in February to teach the traffic police how use the new equipment and enforce the new laws, said that the organization had expected the police to stick to their launch date.
“Education is an important part of road safety, but you have to follow through with enforcement,” said Ryan Duly, road safety adviser for Handicap International.
“If they’re going to advertise a date, it is important that they follow through and enforce on that date,” he said.
Mr Duly said that, while his organization had donated laser guns used for training the police in tracking speeding cars, none of the equipment that was to be used Friday’s launch of the law enforcement had been donated by Handicap International.
Asked if he thought not enforcing the law on Friday as promised would damage police credibility in the city, National Police spokes-
man Mr Ouk Kimlek said it was unrealistic to expect “100 percent” enforcement.
“Saying the enforcement will be 100 percent is not the same as saying we have 100 percent ability to implement it,” he added.