Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief Sar Thet told The Post on Wednesday that the police have launched a campaign to ease traffic congestion caused by illegal parking on pavements in the capital.

The measure will see cases related to wheel clamping and vehicles impounded for parking on pavements being expedited to the Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters for offenders to pay fines.

The police will continue to carry out work to ensure traffic is in order at all targeted locations in the capital. As a first step, police are carrying out the work at locations where traffic is very congested due to illegal parking activities.

“This effort is being carried out even though we still lack the tools to enforce traffic laws,” said Sar Thet.

“Apart from fastening wheel clamps on vehicles parked on public streets, we impound the vehicles to the Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters. Then, we fine them according to the Law on Road Traffic,” he said.

In the past, the police had instructed car owners not to park vehicles on pavements where it obstructs traffic. At this stage, those who turn a deaf ear to the instruction would be at the receiving end of law enforcement, he stressed.

Thet said the police will mobilise more personnel for the campaign to ensure traffic is in order. However, it has not yet decided on the locations where they will focus its law enforcement.

Deputy Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief Heng Chan Theary said the police would tighten the law for vehicles parked on pavements.

“All drivers have a driver’s licence. They had learned about the Law on Road Traffic. So, the traffic police will continue to step up law enforcement so that vehicles will not be parked awkwardly, where traffic will be obstructed and congestion occurs,” said Chan Theary who is also Phnom Penh department of traffic police and public order chief.

“As long as owners park their vehicles at locations with no-parking signs, the police will act without first giving any warning. As for the fines itself, we leave it to the Phnom Penh Municipal Police chief to decide,” he further said.

AIP Foundation’s country director Kim Pagna applauded implementation of the measures to ease congestion at stretches of roads near pavements. He believes it will help to solve traffic congestion in the capital.

“So, [the police] should strictly enforce the law upon those who don’t respect it. However, it is also important to publicise the campaign to create greater awareness of complying with the law.

“When enforcing traffic laws, the police should also carry out its duty transparently for all vehicles by issuing fines at the same rate for the same offence. This would help them to encourage respect for the law as well,” he said.

Pagna also urged the police to take other measures to reduce traffic congestion in the capital.

“I hear that the government is also considering turning some stretches of roads in Phnom Penh into one-way streets and traffic police are to be deployed along roads facing regular congestion to ease traffic. It is a good measure to solve the congestion issue,” he said.