More than 157,000 motorcycles and cars in August to October were impounded nationwide as part of the enforcement of new traffic laws, officials said yesterday.
Him Yan, deputy director of the National Police public order department, said that police had confiscated 150,607 motorcycles and 6,842 cars between August to October.
The most common offense, occurring in 73,456 cases, was motorcyclists’ failure to wear crash helmets, followed by a lack of rearview mirrors in 55,329 cases, said Mr Yan, adding that 8,796 motorcycles were impounded for not having license plates.
“We are still enforcing the law and we keep trying to educate people to follow the law,” he said.
Nationwide there remained just 500 motorcycles still impounded as drivers are only allowed to retrieve their vehicles once they have paid a fine and presented proof that they have purchased the required equipment such as helmets and mirrors.
Thorng Sakun, traffic police chief of Siem Reap province, said his province had seen considerable improvement in motorists’ respect for traffic laws since the start of the enforcement on Aug 1.
Preah Sihanouk deputy provincial police chief Seang Kosal said that it was essential to enforce the law to bring down the number of casualties on the road.
“At first, it seemed like a small problem but not any more,” he said, referring to the number of road accidents. “People understand more about the law.”
Sann Socheata, road safety manager at Handicap International Belgium, said that police were, at last, trying to curb the fatalities on the roads.
“So far they have been doing a better job compared to five or 10 years ago,” she said. “The police are starting to prioritize the safety of people on the roads.”
Nonetheless, she said, more efforts were needed to prevent drunk drivers from taking to the streets, particularly at night.
(Additional reporting by Simon Marks)