Crossing Cambodia

Thursday, August 10, 2006


From the Khmer 440 site a short note on the differing attitudes towards traffic safety between those practiced in the western world and those here in Cambodia. This is the full link to the article with pictures and poll(!). The result of the poll until today is 69% no, 31% yes. Without the text is as follows:

Poll: Have or Would you Let Your Baby Ride Around Phnom Penh on a Moto?

A few months back, Britney Spears got a visit from child protection authorities in California for driving her car a few blocks with her baby seated in her lap instead of in a fortress-like car seat. I thought about that one Sunday evening when I was watching motos stacked with families of four or five cruising up and down Sisowath Quay.
For a young family of five, the standard 2-1-2 moto formation seems to be: (2) toddler crouched on father’s lap with hands up on the console in a hood ornament type position, as father drives the moto, (1) oldest child, usually age five to eight, seated squeezed between two parents, and (2) mother seated on the back of the seat holding newborn baby in her hands.
I would like to know if, as a Westerner in Phnom Penh, it’s acceptable to allow your baby/small child to be transported around town by moto, even though you probably would not do this in your home country. Perhaps for the sake of convenience, you would have to allow it, unless you’re going to start taking a car everywhere as soon as the baby is born. The Khmers seem to think it’s safe enough. Of course, some Khmers also seem to think it’s safe to let your three year old kid wander around all day supervised by a five year old.
I just couldn’t imagine the horror of having to call my mom and tell her that her grandson is dead, and when she asks what happened, say “Aah, he fell off the damn motorbike.”

Babies and Phnom Penh Motos
Would you Let Your Baby Ride Around Town on a Moto?

Yes, when in Rome....

No, its too unsafe.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 21st, 2006 at 8:15 pm and is filed under Gavin Mac.
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