Crossing Cambodia

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hearsay: on driving licenses

Phnom Penh Post (October 20-November 2) keep up the in-depth reports on traffic related issues.

'License to kill: trafficking in the transport ministry'
reveals the 'ease' of obtaining adriving license. Leng Thum Yuthea, director general of transport at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport last year promised that the then newly acquired technology

'would reduce the opportunity for paying off officials for a license'.
More than a year later the promise seems to be broken. At least the report says it simply costs more. Bribes have risen

'from US $ 20 to US $ 80 for passing the computer and driving tests on road rules'.
Even if you pass the exams, but do not pay the bribe, you still do not get the license. Then again if you do not know how to drive , but pay, you get a license. To test this the Post went to the Department's offices and asked a motodop driver hanging around (=a dealer?). He said he could arrange everything for US $ 150 (if you can't drive), US $ 110 if you could. Apparently 'his cut' was just US $ 5, the rest mark-up? The 'official' response of the deputy director of the Land Transport Department:

'could not comment about corruption... because it was outside his jurisdiction (?), he did not dare to know....'
The article also mentions the August statistics: 78 dead.

So where does that leave us?
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