Crossing Cambodia

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chasing cars, 17 May, 2009

Another list of updates:
  • Prominently, it seems another corner of Cambodia which elicits non-stop whining is nearing it's demise:
    "We have a comfortable ride to Siem Reap since the road is nearly finished now." The road from Poipet that is. What remains: 'So we're finally done, and prepare ourselves for the most difficult step, getting the taxi to Siem Reap'.
  • Up next as always, ah yes, the non-allowed license plates.
    'Prime Minister Hun Sen warned last week against the use of police and military license plates by civilians and low-ranking officers, saying the government would seize vehicles bearing unauthorised plates as part of a crackdown set to go into effect this month'.
    How does the law work in Cambodia?
    'Phnom Penh Traffic Police Chief Tin Prasoeur said he viewed Hun Sen's remarks as a "notice that we have to start implementing" the law. We immediately started implementing it after the prime minister's speech," he said, although he said this "implementation" involved only the recording of registration plate numbers that appeared to be in violation of the law.
    "We just take the plate numbers down. We do not fine them," he said'.
    Big help? Thinks not. The article originally from the Phnom Penh Post attracts a fair amount of passionate commentators on KI Media.
  • Two days later the Phnom Penh Post wades in yet again:
    'Crackdown on unauthorised plates has led to a surge in applications for civilian plates at vehicle registration office.Police on Tuesday continued removing unauthorised police and military license plates from vehicles throughout the capital, but officers said they had not yet begun administering punishments specifically outlined in the law that prohibits civilians and low-ranking officials from using such plates'.
  • Law enforcement?
    Van Yeth, 29, was reportedly beaten by Phnom Penh police Friday after he was stopped for driving a vehicle with no registration plates. The conflict erupted when police fined the man 9,000 riels (US$2.25), but failed to return change from US$10. The victim is threatening legal action after the incident, which occurred on Russian Boulevard, Sen Sok district, Phnom Penh'.
    Phnom Penh Posts Police Blogger.
  • And ... some more law enforcement issues:
    'Traffic police say they are planning to crack down on speeding, drunken driving and driving without a license, with drivers being dealt fines as soon as next week'.
    Rest assured:
    '"We received the order to implement these laws this week, but due to the holiday, we will implement them next week," he said'.
    Crossing Cambodia just renewed his license, took 4 weeks, cost 35$. Cambodia Daily (13 May 2009) adds:
    'the delay also arose out of a need to further advertise the laws and fines more effectively to the public'.
    HIB (cited in the Cambodia daily):
    'it is high time enforcement starts as statistics indicate most traffic accidents on Cambodia's mostly lawless roads are caused by drink driving and speeding'.
    However, the Road Safety Cambodia site states:
    'Over 90% of accidents are caused by human error. Speed, particularly along the national roads, drink-driving, dangerous overtaking and general violations of the traffic law are the chief causes of accidents (RTAVIS 2007)'.
  • Last Chasing Cars reported on how Cambodian villagers were blocking the Trans Asian highway. More inaccurate reporting, this time by the VoA.
  • Trans-Asian Highway. Trans-Asian Railway. According yet again to VoA:
    'Chinese and Australian engineers are gearing up to build the final stretch of track in the Trans-Asian Railway, which will link Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand with Vietnam and China through Cambodia. The Cambodian government has divided the country's railway system in two. Australia's Toll Holdings takes control of old French-built lines in the east, which run from the capital to the Thai border and south to Sihanoukville, home to one of the largest ports in the Gulf of Siam'.
    The Chinese apparently will look into connecting Phnom Penh to Vietnamese rail system via Snoul. Possibly if they look better at the map, they might discover that this is by far the shortest distance ... not.
Another piece of Cambodia's Trans-Asian Bamboo bridge, here the Kampong Cham section.
  • Finally, on the Khmer 440 forum this question:
    'Do cars require a safety Certificate in Cambodia every year?'
    A.: No.
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