Crossing Cambodia

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

From Radio Free Asia this report of in this case a normal accident. Crossing Cambodia would like to use this article to illustrate how traffic accidents and their consequences are dealt with.

Police provides clarification on Sok Serei’s accident

10 Jan 2007
By Mayarith
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Heng Soy (KI Media!)

Police authority had provided clarification on a traffic accident which occurred to one RFA reporter. Local newspapers have reported that this accident was political motivated against a reporter who dares talk about issues involving the government.

Pen Khun, the deputy traffic police chief said that RFA reporter Sok Serei was involved in an ordinary traffic accident.

According to its lengthy investigation, and interviews with witnesses of the victim, and the suspects, the police clarified yesterday the traffic accident sustained by RFA reporter Sok Serei was not politically motivated.

Pen Khun claimed that the traffic accident which occurred on 14 Dec 2006, was not a politically motivated as published by some local newspapers.

Pen Khun said: “According to our research and investigation at the location of the accident, we see that this is a simple traffic accident only. After the accident, the vehicle involved fled the scene. After witnesses reported the license plate number of the vehicle, we search the record at the Ministry of Public Works. I reported to the general who is the police chief to ask him to invite the driver who has an address in Koh Kong province. About 4-5 days later, maybe a week, this man came over this morning, he provided an explanation, and he resolved the issue with Mr. Sok Serei. This is a simple traffic accident, it is not politically motivated.”

The police indicated that the accident occurred unintentionally when RFA reporter drove his motorcycle near a car parked by Ek Proch of the right hand side of a street in Phnom Penh. When the car driver got out of the car, Sok Serei’s motorcycle also arrived at the same time, and his motorcycle hit the opening car door. Sok Serei was subsequently injured on the head and became unconscious, his younger daughter who was riding the motorcycle behind him was also injured.

The police indicated that according to its lengthy detailed investigation and interviews with witnesses of the victims and the driver of the car, an arrangement was reached between the victim and the family of the driver, and they agreed to recognize the accident to be a traffic accident, and that no political issue was involved. The driver of the car agreed to help pay some of the damages> sustained by the reporter involved in this accident.

So, an accident happens, the culprit leaves the scene, at the same time leaving the victim in need of medical assistance. Lots of noise is made. The culprit goes to police, discusses compensating some of the medical costs and everybody is happy.
But in most countries if you make a mistake you get prosecuted, certainly not let off by just paying some of the costs. No one is insured in Cambodia so privately compensating the victim is neccesary.
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