Crossing Cambodia

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Safety First

Co-incidental or not, two articles in yesterday's (December 5, 2007) Cambodia Daily highlighted aspects of transport safety and the way that Cambodian authorities view this.

The first article is on a draft Civil Aviation Law to regulate air travel.
'Secretary of State at the State Sectretariat of Civil Aviation told the Assembly that the draft law is meant to enhance passengers' safety and security and to ...'
However what the draft law only does is to make the commercial operators liable for accidents causing injury to passengers.

Cambodian aviation resulted in two accidents in the past year, both by aging ex-Soviet planes, one with loss of life. Considering this in respect to hardly having any internal air traffic or Cambodia-originating international flights, it was of course logical, that an opposition MP (SRP MP Sok Pheng) would seek to ban these aircraft, however Mao Ha Savanna (the same as above? the source), State Secretary of the National Civil Aviation Department, replied that it is not the type of aircraft which determines the accident. In the meantime, the accident earlier this year above and in the Cardomom mountains is yet to be explained and family of the deceased to receive their insurance pay-outs.

With the oncoming investment of an Indonesian firm in a Cambodia flag carrier and with these kind (Piece of Wing found on Runway in Jakarta;
Do you own a plane? Is it missing a piece of wing? If so, it's lying on the runway at Jakarta's international airport. Officials there don't know which ...) of accidents / incidents common in Indonesia even after receiving widespread international condemnation this year, one might think that Cambodian aviation might not improve much in the near future. And what about Cambodia's track record on law enforcement?

Meanwhile another article above this one, described what can mentioned as 'Mutiny on the Tonle Sap'. Apparently a ferry carrying tourists from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh started taking in water. The crew were very relaxed on this, actually so relaxed they let the passengers take the helm and steer the boat to nearest shore (remember Tonle Sap is a lake) while
'sealing the hole on the portside withwood from the boat's staircase, passengers' T-shirts, and a rubber sandal'.
On nearing the shore an even bigger surprise [at least that's what Crossing Cambodia thinks]: police had sent a rescue boat! The ferry (with 100-plus passengers) was brought to a nearby harbour where the hole was welded . Province of Kampong Chnang deputy police chief:
'If the boat had just continued to Phnom Penh, it would have sunk because the hole was getting bigger and bigger'.
The owner denies the whole event even took place and explains that there was no danger and no 'mutiny'. And what about the government regulation / intervention? None.

In the meantime Cambodia has been identified as a state with 'negative performance indicators' according to Round Table of international shipping associations. Together with amongst others Congo, North Korea and Mongolia [!].

So what about the safety? Who cares. Compare the following (non-edited) article (from the Khmer News site) with the negligence of Cambodian authorities to enforce their approved traffic law which requires compulsory helmet use:
'Head completely destroyed after crashed
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Phnom Penh: A lady with her head broken and brain came out, died instantly after a crash along Chorm Chao road in Dorg Kor district. This accident occurred at 5. 05 pm on 1st December, while the victim riding on a motorbike taxi in the same direction with the truck. When arriving at the place, the truck increased its speed that making the motorbike rider at the back dropped from her sit staying under the truck’s tire. There her head was completely crashed and died immediately, whereas the truck driver could not be arrested'.

Related Posts with Thumbnails