SRP Urges End to Abuse of Official License Plates

Lawmakers for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party on Thursday sent a formal request to Minister of Public Works and Trans­portation Trem Iv Tek urging an end to the illegal use of license plates meant solely for government vehicles. 

The sight of private vehicles bearing number plates meant for state, police or military is all too common, the lawmakers said, and the ministry must work to put an end to the practice.

“[We] hope HE Minister [Trem Iv Tek] takes every action check and confiscate [license plates] from private owners who are using state, police and RCAF plates,” the lawmakers wrote, claiming that most private vehicles belonging to government, police and military officials make use of the special plates.

SRP lawmaker Ho Vann said by telephone Sunday that the illegal use of the plates gives a negative impression of the government and the security forces. He added that officials sometime use the special plates as a way to intimidate others or as a cover for illegal activities like smuggling.

Ho Vann said the letter was meant to push the ministry to see that article 93 of the new traffic law—which bars use of these plates on private vehicles—be strictly en­forced when the law goes into effect Jan 1. He added, however, that plates of this type do tend to intimidate traffic police officers who might otherwise stop the vehicle.

Trem Iv Tek could not be reach­ed for comment Sunday, but Public Works Ministry Under­secretary of State Suon Rachana said his ministry needed more time before cracking down on the illegal use of government plates.

“It requires much more time before putting it into practice,” he said, “but at first police will just fine the motor drivers without helmets or mirrors.”

“I cannot say when we will take action” against the illegal use of government plates,” he added.

Pho Khan, director of the In­terior Ministry’s public order department, said Sunday that he was unsure how many vehicles there are with police plates because he was away from his office, but he insisted that traffic police and other relevant authorities would work to get improperly issued plates off the road as soon as the law goes into effect.

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