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Police Targeting Hit-And-Run Drivers In The Capital

Source: Vientiane Times

Vientiane traffic police officers are now conducting a campaign to zero in on hit-and-run drivers in the capital following a number of fatal accidents.

An official from Vientiane Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security, Major Detleusa Xayasan told Vientiane Times on Monday that so far this year three drivers involved hit-and-runs have been arrested in the capital with the accidents resulting in three fatalities.

At the beginning of this month, a fatal hit-and-run accident occurred at the Hongsaeng traffic lights in Xaysettha district, Vientiane when a pickup truck collided head-on with a motorbike killing the rider. On this occasion, witnesses pursued the fleeing pickup driver who was detained and handed over to the police.

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Another incident occurred in Huayhong village, Chanthabouly district when a pickup and a motorbike were involved in a head-on collision. The accident killed the motorcyclist instantly, and the offending truck drove off.

Major Detleusa said police investigated the scene, checked CCTV camera footage and obtained the pickup’s number plate from witnesses. Police subsequently arrested the driver of the pickup at his home in Sangthong district a few days later.

The third fatal hit-and-run accident also occurred in Sangthong district when a truck careered into a motorbike killing the rider. The truck driver sped off, but police followed and arrested him a few hours later, he said.

Police are now also endeavouring to track down a car that hit a female pedestrian and drove away in Phonthan village, Xaysettha district on Sunday night leaving the woman with critical injuries.

The majority of hit-and-runs occur at night and in the early morning with most involving drunk driving and excessive speeds. Many hit-and-run accidents take place in rural areas at night when drivers responsible think they can escape unseen.

Major Detleusa said the targeting of hit-and-run accidents is being implemented to comply with the Criminal Law and Prime Minister’s Decree No. 188.

According to Article 87 of the Criminal Law, anyone convicted of being involved in a traffic accident and fleeing the scene is subject to a prison sentence of six months to two years and a fine ranging from 200,000 kip to 1 million kip.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister’s Decree No. 188, dated 3/07/2007, outlines measures against traffic transgressors, with anyone caught drunk driving to be fined 10,000 to 1,000,000 kip (according to the kind of vehicle).

The decree states fines of 10,000 kip for bicycle riders, motorbikes or three-wheeled vehicles 50,000 kip, cars-pickups-vans-jeeps (four wheels) 100,000 kip, passenger trucks (four wheels) 250,000 kip, trucks (six wheels and over) 500,000 kip and buses 1,000,000 kip.

Official figures state that around a thousand people are killed every year nationally in road accidents with many involving hit-and-run cases.