Increased fines for drink-driving violations

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As recent as a month ago, the Royal Cambodian Government updated the traffic laws in the Kingdom to increase the fines for traffic violations, and a new sub-decree has seen the fines further increased for drink-driving charges starting May 1 2020.

The Cambodian Minister of Interior and chairman of the National Road Safety Committee, Sar Kheng, confirmed the increase in fines on Friday 17th April 2020. He added “The National Road Safety Committee urges people to obey traffic laws in order to protect their own lives and other people. People should drive with high awareness to promote honour, dignity and social order in Cambodia.”

The changes agreed in March had already increased drink driving charged to between 250,000-800,000 riel (USD$60-200) for being a certain amount above the limit on the alcohol test.

New Sub-Decree drinking violation fines in Cambodia – May 2020

The new sub-decree increased the charge for driving under the influence of alcohol (0.40mg per litre of air or 0.80g or higher per litre of blood):

  • Motorcyclists and bicyclists – 1 million riel ($250 USD).
  • Light lorry drivers – 2 million riel ($500 USD).
  • Heavy lorry drivers – 4 million riel ($1,000 USD).

The Phnom Penh Post reported that in the first quarter of 2020, traffic accidents across Cambodia decreased by 150 compared to last year (14% decrease). In addition, the number of traffic fatalities fell by 20 (4%) and traffic injuries decreased by 277 (17%).

Sar Kheng said, “the drop rate in both the number of deaths and injuries from traffic accidents is the result of the National Road Safety Committee pushing for more enforcement of laws around the country to reduce the number of road accidents.”

However, the COVID-19 outbreak will also surely have reduced the number of cars on the roads and people travelling generally.

Institute for Road Safety director Kong Ratanak has some concern over the new fines being publicised enough. “The timeframe for the announcement is under three months. So, the announcement is not widely known, which will shock the people. I want the new sub-decree promoted to broaden the scope and delay its implementation a little,” Ratanak said.

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