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Committee Formed To Review, Revise Traffic Regulations

Drivers ignore traffic signs during the city's rush hour, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, file photo.

Cambodia’s roads and highways are highly trafficked and very dangerous, making for one of the leading causes of death in the country.

Cambodia is reforming its traffic regulations, with the establishment of a new committee to analyze the current law on the books.

Traffic deaths are a major cause of fatalities nationwide, and the 11-member committee, led by Interior Minister Sar Kheng, will seek ways to adjust regulations or amend the law and to educate the public for better road safety, following a call to do so from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

However, some safety experts warn that a government committee should also allow input from the development sector if it wants the initiative to succeed.

Ear Chariya, an independent advisor on traffic safety, told VOA Khmer Tuesday the government has made a good decision to discuss public concerns, but a good law won’t be formed “if they only discuss the issue among themselves.”

“Education on traffic law must be long lasting,” he said. “It’s a mistake when we teach people only in the short term.”

Ou Virak, head of the think tank Future Forum, said the decision to reform the law was a good one, but it should not have been done at the prompting of Prime Minister Hun Sen, but rather National Assembly lawmakers. “It’s the wrong procedure,” he said.

Ear Chariya and Ou Virak both said the law shouldn’t be reformed over and over, but it should be studied critically and carefully before it is amended.

“Otherwise, they will just amend the law every time they get negative feedback, which could spoil society and the people,” Ou Virak said.