Follwing the decision to do away with required “K” class driver’s licences for motorbikes with 125cc engines or below in response to public outcry, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday announced that those who have already paid for the licence can have their expense refunded.
The premier took to Facebook, writing that “the people are not required to pay for the driver’s licence; the people can get their money back”, adding “if they want to get their money back, the government will pay them with the exact same amount”.
Hun Sen also announced that the price for a car driver’s licence will also be lowered, and instructed the Ministry of Economy and Finance to work with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation to implement the measures as soon as possible.
In his announcement, the prime minister made it clear the decision was made in response to requests by the people, going so far as to quote one such request from a concerned citizen.
“To Samdech Hun Sen . . . I have prolonged my driver licence on 29 12 2015, can I get money back?”
The letter went on to stress the burden of the cost for a licence. “I hope that Samdech will help to return the money back to me and other people who have prolonged their drivers licences . . . 70,000 Riels [about $17.5] is very important for me,” the person wrote.
Preap Chanvibol, director of land transportation at the Ministry of Public Works, said yesterday that officials from the concerned ministries had been summoned to a meeting scheduled for this evening to discuss the logistics of the refund procedure.
Asked about the announced price reduction for car driver’s licences, Chanvibol said he did not yet know what the details would be, adding that a decision on the matter would be made later.
Kem Ley, a social researcher who founded the Khmer for Khmer political movement, said the people would be happy with the decision to refund the licences, but cautioned the Kingdom’s leaders to review laws more carefully before implementing them in the future.
“Making reverse [decisions] is not good, and it’s just catastrophic for the country in the future,” he said.
Ley further recommended that for the approval of the Traffic Law, there should have been clear consultation, testing and a serious study of countries with good transportation laws.