Well, as with most of expat Phnom Penh, the last weekend marked the re-entry to Phnom Penh. So what has changed?
- Hardly anything. The roads are getting busier (for a Saturday), but also seem to be more chaotic. Phnom Penh Post (July 27- August 9) adds:
'... in 2006 total registered vehicles rose 25% ...'and
'... Phnom Penh's streets struggle to cope with the increased traffic.'
- The new traffic law seems still to be in the pipeline, should surface in September apparently.
- The local government's answer to traffic congestion still seems to be to widen the roads, this time on Monivong. When will they realize that more assertiveness is needed (on f.i. avoiding traffic jams due to drivers ignoring traffic lights, drivers who drive the wrong way and/or wrong side)? When it's too late? When the roads can't be widened any more?
- Drunken driving is still 'business as usual', witness a crash two weeks back on Norodom when two young lads died after they crashed into an on-coming Toyota Landcruiser(?) because they were steering with their legs!(Cambodian Daily, 30 July 2007)
- The simple possesion of a motorcycle still leads to deadly encounters with robbers witness the various entries on Phnom Penh Post's Police Blogger. According to the latest version, women are getting into the act ... :
'Sokdom said a woman stole his motorbike [after victim had been drugged with sleeping pills in anticaption of 'sex after having drunk beer together']'.Is this progress?
- There is now available a traffic police checkpoint map provided and hopefully (?) updated by Cambodia Maps.
- Not only is road traffic unsafe, the same applies to air traffic. A pilot flying from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville received the request to move to a higher altitude. His answer:
'It's no problem, I am familiar with this area'.After that he became a little more than familiar with the area, so did his Korean passengers. This all resulted in some graphic material, which found itself with adequate buyers on the local market. Ban it!
- For those of you who prefer to stay on the ground, at Khmer 440 there is an article on public transport in Cambodia.
- Apparently, 29% of all accidents are caused by drivers with the steering wheel on the wrong side!
- Military police get caught in traffic incident between Chinese businessmen (with armed guards) and Austrailan tourists. What to do? Get lost? (Cambodian Daily 19 July 2007).