Crossing Cambodia

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It's not the first, it's the eleventh, stupid!

Well, consider Crossing Cambodia's previous post not written. Why not? Well, despite on the thirtieth there still being no indication that the new traffic law would not be implemented, come the first, it was postponed. So no wonder Crossing Cambodia failed to signify any change!

The weirdest part though, is that it was only announced publicly on the second, so presumably on Saturday the police officers should have been busy ticketing. No so.

What transpires is that apparently the powers believe the people are unaware of the new traffic law. Naturally. It was discussed last year, signed by the King in February and much has been made of being prepared for its implementation. For instance an NGO was found to assist in photocopying the new traffic law contents.

Yesterday, September 3, 2007 the Cambodia Daily reported:
' "We have tried so hard to make people aware by opening [free] traffic law classes for them, but the result is very, very low", he [Ung Chun Huor, the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation's director general] said, ...'
Informing the general public prior to implementation though does have seemed to work:
'More than 300 students along with nine NGOs sent a petition to the Interior Ministry and Public Works Ministry on Friday [30 September, 2007] voicing their concerns [CC: belatedly?] about the law coming into effect.


Yong Kim Heng, president of NGO People Center for Development and Peace, which endorsed the petition, said Sunday that the government should allow motorcyclists a two-year grace period before starting to fine drivers without licenses. "The government should delay two years and allow people to get licenses," he said, adding he is concerned the new law will enable police officers to extort money from people.'
So since the invention of the motor, Cambodian citizens have had the opportunity to drive around unhindered by the need for a license, so why an extended grace period of two years? Action is reaction or not?

But even the no. 1 road safety NGO in Cambodia is on-board:
'Sann Socheata, road safety manager for NGO Handicap International, said more education is necessary before officials can begin implementing the new law, but that with proper enforcement the law should help reduce traffic accidents.'
So what does the 'more' education exist of? On the 11th a publicity event will be held at the Olympic Stadium which is expected to draw 2,000 people. Well, that will make an incredible impact!

You know what Crossing Cambodia thinks? The Cambodian government has null interest in the whole law process, but because the rest of the world seems to need one, probably Cambodia needs one as well. As we [the Cambodian government] need the new law why not ask some donors to foot the bill? Found, now, let's syphon off a fair amount of the publicity budget. Done? Great now just give the lessons.
Then, schock horror, hardly anybody attends [surprise?], that distorts the relation between variable costs (tea/cookies for 'students') and fixed costs ('tea' money for officials). Oh! Let's postpone the implementation of the law and use the unspent variable costs budget on a big party! Great idea.

Or is Crossing Cambodia too imaginative?
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