An increasing number of Cambodians are signing up for driving courses and requesting licenses, following the passage of a new, stricter traffic law that sets out harsher punishments.
“They’re not only coming to learn how to drive, but also to learn the traffic law,” Chan Nora, the general manager at Tola Driving School, told VOA Khmer.
Cambodia’s roads and highways are highly trafficked and very dangerous, making for one of the leading causes of death in the country. Drivers interviewed by VOA Khmer said they hope the new law will improve the situation.
Class “helps enhance understanding of the traffic law, but more education and dissemination of information about the traffic issues are needed,” said Chhay Lang, 23, as she was headed to a driver’s education course.
After attending driving class for a few days, Ngouy Kimeourn, 36, a tuk-tuk driver, said he was starting to understand traffic better and had started wearing a helmet. “It creates good order on the road,” he said. “I now know what is right and wrong.”
Run Roth Veasna, director of the Interior Ministry’s department of regulation, said that both education and restriction must go together for a law to be effective. “If we don’t practice, they don’t respect the law,” Run Roth Veasna said. “We now could see people wearing the helmet, which means people are joining with us.”