Allowing traffic police to collect fines off 'offending' motorists is nothing short of legalising all manners of police extortion at public expense. For instance, I once asked a moto taxi driver to take me to a market in Phnom Penh and to drop me off near the front entrance of the market. Approaching the market, the driver took the wrong turn. A policeman ordered him to halt and pay the due fine, saying he was going in the wrong direction, and what's more, the rusty vehicle did not carry a number plate! The driver attempted to have his fine waived or reduced, insisting that his passenger [that's me!] was responsible for misdirecting him by asking him to go to the front of the market! Another police officer sitting at a table under the roadside tent [obviously set up there to extort ill-fated motorists such as this man] refused to heed the pleadings, throwing the official charge at the offender with a stern expression and tone that all corrupt traffic police officers have in many a developing country.
The negotiation did not lead anywhere after about 10-15 minutes of this face-off, [the supposed offender was just as rough and uncouth in manner towards his passenger] so I asked the driver to pay up the fine and assured him that I would compensate him afterward. That's usually how things are settled in the Kingdom of Wonder ...
A police officer directs traffic near Independence Monument in Phnom Penh in 2014. Vireak Mai
Traffic fines to be paid electronically
Mon, 27 June 2016 ppp
The Ministry of Interior is setting up a system that will allow traffic fines to be paid electronically at banks and money transfer services. Run Roth Veasna, director of the department of traffic and order police, said the system could be up and running by the end of the year at Acleda, Wing and True Money branches.
Fines currently have to be paid at police stations. Roth Veasna added that the electronic system would make it easier for police to check whether fines had been paid, even if the offence was committed in a different province.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability of Cambodia executive director San Chey praised the program, but said the occurrence of road users negotiating with police to lower their fines also needed to be addressed.