Crossing Cambodia

Friday, October 20, 2006

Traffic signs: Stop!

Well, what distinguishes anarchy from chaos from (some form of) regulated order? Traffic laws, enforcing these and general adherence to a set of rules. So what is easier than a stop sign? What does it mean?

A stop sign is a traffic sign, usually erected at road junctions, that instructs drivers to make a brief and temporary, but complete, stop upon reaching it, and then to proceed only if the way ahead is clear.
That's what Wikipedia defines of the internationally recognised stop sign.

So in what way does Cambodia differ? Besids the appearance of Khmer on the signboard there does seem to be a different local interpretation in this. A 5 minute survey this morning at 8.45 on the cornor of street 310 and street 63 revealed that just 11.5% (6 of 52) of the motorcyclists and 23.8% (5 of 21) really stopped.

To tell the truth, none of these vehicles voluntarily stopped but were forced to stop due to the the heavy amount of traffic crossing street 63 (whom have right of way) or because the vehicle of front of them had stopped. Some vehicles (2) even managed to halt the crossing traffic on street 63 by simply horning and disregarding their (street 63 users) right of way.

So little compliance to this traffic sign.
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