LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
PEACE INDEPENDENCE DEMOCRACY UNITY PROSPERITY
President’s Office No. 12/PO
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
On the Promulgation of the Law on Public Roads
Pursuant to Chapter 5, Article 53, point 1 of the Constitution of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic;
Pursuant to Resolution No. 04-99/NA, dated 3 April 1999, of the 3rd Session of the fourth legislature of the National Assembly, regarding the adoption of the Law on Public Roads; and
Pursuant to Proposal No. 06/NASC, dated 6 April 1999, of the National Assembly Standing Committee.
The President of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Article 1.The Law on Public Roads is hereby promulgated.
Article 2.This decree shall enter into force on the date it is signed.
Vientiane, 26 April 1999
The President of the Lao People’s
[Seal and Signature]
LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC
PEACE INDEPENDENCE DEMOCRACY UNITY PROSPERITY
National Assembly No. 04/99/NA
3 April 1999
LAW ON PUBLIC ROADS
The Law on Public Roads has the function to define principles, regulations and measures relating to the management, use, planning, survey, design, construction and maintenance of public roads, including ensuring safety and environmental protection, to ensure smooth traffic in all seasons between provinces, and between urban [areas] and rural or remote areas, in order to contribute importantly to socio-economic development, to support the defence and security of the county and to establish the basis for integrating the national economy with other countries in the region.
Road means the strip of land that is constructed to support traffic, including the road framework, road appurtenances and road delimitation area.
Road framework comprises the road structure, the road slope, culverts, ditches for drainage channels, anti-erosion walls, bridges, tunnels, ferry boat docks, ferry boats, parking areas and other structures that are constructed under and above the road.
Road appurtenances comprise traffic signs, traffic lights, the road lighting system and others1.
1 The term “and others” is a literal translation and is not subject to further specificity.
Road delimitation area
Road delimitation area refers to the strips of land along both sides of the road that are reserved for the extension of the road or for road safety activities.
Road safety activities
Road safety activities refers to activities, such as planting trees, erecting walls, and others, that aim at preventing accidents, erosion and pollution from smoke, colour, light and noise.
It is the policy of the State to promote all economic sectors within and outside the country to engage in the construction, repair and maintenance of roads by reducing or exempting taxes and duties as stipulated in the Law on the Promotion of Domestic Investment and the Law on the Promotion and Management of Foreign Investment in the Lao PDR2.
In order to ensure traffic in all seasons, the State authorises the establishment of a road development fund.
Persons and organisations that use public roads have the obligation to contribute to the construction, repair and maintenance of public roads, including [the obligation to contribute to] safety, traffic order, cleanliness, beauty and environmental [protection].
The use of public roads shall be in strict compliance with traffic regulations, such as: weight carried, speed and others.
Public Roads and Public Road Activities
Public roads refers to the road system that is the property of the national community constructed for the interests of the people and for internal and international traffic.
2 Since 2004, this law has been amended and re-titled the Law on the Promotion of Foreign Investment in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
Public roads in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic are divided into 6 classes, namely:
National public road refers to a strategic road that serves the interests of the nation and [the interests] between nations, and includes:
Public roads in provinces, prefectures and special zones refers to roads that are important for economic, political and socio-cultural development and for national defence and security at the provincial or special zone level, including:
District public roads refers to roads that are important for economic, political, and socio-cultural development, and for national defence and security at the district level, including:
Municipal roads refers to a system of roads used for traffic within a municipal area.
Rural roads refers to roads connecting villages to villages and villages to various production and service centres within villages.
Specific roads refers to roads used specifically for the production and service of a sector, for national defence and security and for protected forest areas.
Public Road Activities
Public road activities refers to the implementation of activities with regard to public roads, which includes planning, survey, design, construction, maintenance, repair, control and use of public roads.
Public road planning refers to the study and collection of data in order to establish plans for the development of various public roads as defined in Article 5 of this law.
Survey of public roads refers to the collection of detailed data on environmental conditions in order to establish feasibility studies, make an assessment of the effectiveness [of the proposed road] and prepare for design.
Design of public roads refers to the establishment of a detailed plan in compliance with technical standards based on the data analysis furnished by the survey, and comprising drawings, cost evaluation and time for completion of construction.
Public road construction refers to the building of various public roads as defined in Article 5 of this law. The public road contractor shall perform the work in accordance with design documents, and shall ensure quality, safety and environmental protection.
Maintenance of public roads means to follow up, control, and check on the conditions of public roads in order to provide regular maintenance, such as: grass cutting, road surface cleaning, sewage draining, and cleaning of bridges and other road appurtenances.
Repair of public roads means to maintain, repair and reinstate damaged roads in compliance with the design, including routine repairs, periodic repairs and urgent repairs.
Management and Use of Land, and Road Limits
Management and Use of Land for Public Road Activities
The Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction is the authority to manage and use the land for public road activities as stipulated in the Land Law.
The Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction is the authority to manage and use material resources for public road activities, such as: soil, stone, gravel, sand and other types of construction materials at locations that have been surveyed and the exploitation of which has been authorised by the government.
If, in the construction of various kinds of public roads, it is necessary to use land that is legally owned by a private person or by an organisation, the owner of the expropriated land used for public road construction shall receive reasonable compensation.
Road limit refers to the total area of the road, which includes the road surface, the road shoulder, footpaths, drainage channels, the road slope and the delimitation area for public roads.
The width of the road limit for each kind of public road is as follows:
Technical standards for each kind of public road are defined by the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction.
No construction is permitted in the delimitation area. In the case of necessity, the construction must be authorised by the public road management authority.
The safety-limit area of a public road refers to the area situated within the safety limits of such public road and includes: the road shoulder, footpaths, the area visible when approaching a curve, road junction areas, areas leading to a bridge, the ends of pipes, the road slope, anti-erosion walls, drainage channel islets in the middle of the road, zebra-crossings, and bus stations. It is prohibited to carry out any activity or place any thing within the safety-limit area of public roads.
Public Road Fees and Service Charges
Public road fees and service charges refers to the income from public road activities and use, such as: fees for registration, fees for copyright, road tolls, ferry-boat tolls, bridge tolls, and others.
The Ministry of Finance in cooperation with the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction studies the rates of road fees and service charges and submits them to the government for approval.
Establishment of Road Construction Enterprises,
Consulting Enterprises and Association of Road Engineers
Establishment of Road Construction Enterprises
and Consulting Enterprises
A road construction enterprise is a business unit established for carrying out activities in road construction and repair.
An individual or organisation that intends to establish a road construction enterprise shall meet the following conditions:
A road consulting enterprise is a business unit established to carry out the planning, survey, design, monitoring and control of construction and the provision of advice to the owner of the road construction project.
An individual or organisation that intends to establish a road consulting enterprise shall meet the following conditions:
For the efficient management of road construction and for good order, the State authorises the establishment of an Association of Road Engineers in compliance with the regulations of the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction.
Establishment, Registration and Principles Governing the
Operations of Public Road Construction Enterprises
The establishment and registration of public road construction enterprises and public road engineering consulting enterprises shall be in compliance with the Business Law3 and the Law on Promotion of Domestic Investment.
Regarding foreign investment, the Law on Promotion and Management of Foreign Investment in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic shall apply.
Public road activities shall comply with this law and the following basic principles:
Any subcontracting work shall be approved by the owner of the project.
Public Road Management and Inspection Authority
Authority Responsible for Managing Public Roads
The authority responsible for managing public roads comprises:
3 This is a reference to an older law which has since been replaced by the 2005 Enterprise Law.
The Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction has the following rights and duties:
The communication, transport, post and construction division at each provincial, prefecture or special zone has the following rights and duties:
The communication, transport, post and construction office at each district or municipality has the following rights and duties:
Each village administrative authority has the following rights and duties:
Inspection4 of Public Road Activities
Inspection of public road activities refers to inspecting the orderliness in the management and use of public roads, inspecting the implementation of public road construction, maintenance, and repair, and inspecting technical systems and the costs of public road activities.
4 In the Lao language, the same word is used to represent all of the following related (but slightly different) concepts: “control”, “inspection”, “supervision”, “audit” and “monitoring”. The translators have chosen “inspection” (and its variants) as the most appropriate English equivalent but readers should note and bear in mind the other meanings that might have been intended.
The authority responsible for the inspection of public roads is the same as the authority with the duty to inspect5 public road activities as stipulated in Article 35 of this law.6
In the execution of such duties, the Ministry of Communication, Transport, Post and Construction is to set up an inspection committee.
The inspection of public road activities has the following contents:
There are 3 types of inspection of public road activities, as follow:
Policies Towards Persons with Outstanding Achievement
and Measures Against Violators7
Any person or organisation whose participation in public road activities is efficient, creative, of high quality, or ensures safety or sound environmental protection shall be rewarded and shall be granted other policies as appropriate.
5 The translators are aware that the sentence is circular in its logic.
6 The translators are aware that Article 35 does not stipulate any authority.
7 The term “policies” is often used as an indirect way of referring to “incentives’ or “privileges” and the term “measures” is often used as an indirect way of referring to “sanctions”.
Any person or organisation that breaches this law, causing damage to the public, the environment, or the property, health or life of any other person, shall be subject to re-education, fines or criminal sanction, depending on the seriousness of the offence, including having to compensate for damage caused by it.
Any person or organisation committing a minor offence under this law, such as: infringement of regulations relating to public road activities or the maintenance and use of public roads that causes damage to public or private property but does not involve any serious consequences, shall be re-educated, warned and required to compensate for damage caused by it.
Any person or organisation breaching this law by committing the acts [in the following sentence] shall be fined and shall compensate for damage caused by it. [Such acts are]: infringement of regulations relating to public road activities, to the maintenance, repair, and use of public roads, and to the displacement of road appurtenances, [in each case] causing damage to the structure, safety and delimitation area of a public road; [and] infringement of regulations relating to business registration and operation, and infringement of construction principles, [in each case] causing damage to public or private property.
Any person breaching any provision of this law, such as: serious violation of principles relating to public road activities, or to the maintenance, repair, or use of public roads; destruction of road appurtenances, road structures, delimitation areas, or safety-limit areas; falsification of registration and business documents; violation of construction principles causing damage to the public, or to the life, health or property of other persons; and abuse of position for personal interest; shall be subject to criminal prosecution and shall compensate for damage caused by him.
In addition to the main punishments specified in Articles 42 and 43 of this law, the offender shall also be subject to supplementary punishments, such as: suspension of activities or withdrawal of business license.
8 Here, “re-education” does not mean the same as “re-education without deprivation of liberty” referred to in the Penal Law.
The government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic is to implement this law.
This law shall come into effect after 90 days from the date of the promulgating decree issued by the President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
Provisions and regulations that contradict this law are null and void.
Vientiane, 3 April 1999
President of the National Assembly
[Seal and Signature]