Police Have Not Enforced Traffic Laws for Four Months

Traffic police across the country have still not resumed enforcing traffic laws after a pre-election enforcement moratorium that was meant to last just a few weeks ahead of the July 28 poll, according to government and U.N. officials. “The superiors ordered [police] to stop, for a short period, enforcing the traffic laws because of the election,” Preap Chanvibol, director of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation’s land transportation department, said Wednesday. “Enforcement has been stopped since July until now, but it will begin again as soon as possible.” About a dozen traffic police officers stationed along Norodom and Sihanouk boulevards this week confirmed that they had received orders before the election not to enforce laws or issue fines, and had never been told to begin again. Instead, they were simply “monitoring” intersections. … In early July, then-Phnom Penh traffic police chief Heng Chantheary said officers were not fining drivers for traffic violations because priority was being given to election campaign safety. But at the time, the fine-free period was expected to last only a few weeks. …

Khuon Narim and Joshua Wilwohl