Crossing Cambodia

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


For the past 6 months Crossing Cambodia has been researching the link (if any) between how traffic is conducted and the nation / society of Cambodia. But today's (December 6, 2006) Cambodia Daily publishes a Letter to the Editor which could have been a copy of this site's various blogs. The letter:
Parents tend to to advise their children to drive slowly and carefully. This is not necessarily bad, but it will not guarantee road safety and solve congestion.
Shaving off Phnom Penh's sidewalks, widening the roads and installing concrete dividers are also not long-term solutions. Indisciplined driving and the lack of traffic regulations are causing congestion.
There are many red lights and people rarely stop for them. But traffic signs could ease congestion at most intersections.
There are many issues that could ensure traffic safety. These include helmets, seat belts, protective seats for children and rear view mirrors. Lane dividers should be made of plastic and filled with water. Reflective devices should be used to mark out lanes, so they can be distinguished at night.
Extensive use of cell phones, watching karaoke videos on in-car television screens, and drivers failing to indicate when they are turning are all problems. So are people driving the wrong way down one-way streets.
There are also very few signs in Phnom Penh indicating speed limits. Undisciplined driving is a reflection of the country as a whole and we all have contributed to it. If one obeys the traffic law, traffic will flow smoothly. Disciplined driving can paint a good picture of a society we all live in. Vorak Ny, Phnom Penh.
A misconception: traffic signs are being ignored so they can hardly be a solution to congestion problems.
The writer in general understands the problems, but fails to come with good solutions. Law enforcement seems to be the most logical solution. If even red lights are being ignored how can more traffic signs and voluntary calls for disciplined driving help?

Can disciplined driving paint a good picture of society? Yes, but maybe society reflects itself on traffic habits, so if society as a whole does not become more disciplined, traffic is doomed to remain chaotic. Or not?

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