Crossing Cambodia

Monday, January 14, 2008

Helmet issue (not again?)

One thing the new year has brought about, is the realization that Phnom Penh is now the only Southeast Asian capital where motorbike riders are not compelled to wear their helmets. This after Vietnam recently began enforcing a law on helmets and earlier last year, the same happened in Lao. Both countries capitals are now awash with helmet wearing bikers, thus ensuring an increasing safety for oneself and attributing to an increased sensibility to the countries in general.

However this enforcement is not nation-wide enforced: in up-country Lao and Thailand, if you want to feel the breeze in your hair, no one (it seems) is going to stop you. So obviously there are issues here at stake concerning law enforcement; the further away you are from the centers of power, the less you might be compelled to stay in line?

In Hua Hin, Thailand, new year was heralded by forceful eastern winds. Fishers on it's pier resorted to wearing their helmets while fishing, a clear case of needing a helmet not to let your hair get messed up (or is it a new bit of legislation requiring fishers to wear helmets?)

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