Crossing Cambodia

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chasing Cars, 29 June 2009

Not much to mention, everyone (in the english press) is on holiday.
  • There's always the Khmer press to entertain you. Road safety blog dilengently jots down every Khmer and traffic related article. Pictures tell you most, what about this picture of a leg?
  • Did anyone notice this article from Phnom Pehn Post's Police blotter?
    'Two bodyguards of a highranking official, Chhel Chhein, 28, and Chea Chantha, 27, were taken to the Dangkor district police station for hitting a man with a gun in a motorbike incident. The accident was caused by the two bodyguards, who were speeding up on their motorbike and ignored the traffic lights at a juncture. They nearly crashed into the victim, who shouted at them for violating the traffic law. At the police station, the victim demanded a compensation of US$700. The bodyguards paid him only $100, which he had no choice but to accept'.
    Typical only in Cambodia?
  • Another typical only in Cambodia article:
    'Tuk-tuk crackdown targets Wat Phnom'
    (Phnom Penh Post (18 June 2009). Wat Phnom is one of Phnom Penh's main tourist area's. Tuk-tuks are one of the main modes of transport for tourists. The article mentions that Tuk-tuks are to stay away from this area. Why?
    'The police told me that I was parked in a disorderly manner'.
    The real reason?
    '... they [tuk-tuk drivers] believed the latest crackdown followed a recent near collision between Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema's car and a tuk-tuk in the Wat Phnom area'.
  • A general message from the ADB:
    'without immediate action, the transport sectors of developing countries will account for the overwhelming share of increased carbon dioxide emissions by 2030'.
    Great news, but not really. Anyway, with the economic slowdown this prospect will also disappear.
  • ADB, though finances the alternatives:
    'the new [railway] station would be funded by a US$20 million loan from the ADB'.
    The alternative however is
    'expected to displace 200 families in Dangkor district should be completed by 2012'.
    The good news is that something is happening. Lot's of hot air has passed on the revamping of the national railway, but little substance. This seems concrete at least.
  • More general world news:
    'Nearly half of the 1.2 million people killed in traffic accidents around the world each year are not in cars. They are on motorcycles and bicycles or walking along roadsides.
    Traffic accidents were the 10th-leading cause of death in the world in 2004, behind lung cancer and ahead of diabetes, and they are on track to become the fifth-leading cause by 2030'.
    Surprisingly the report then neglects this highlight and recommends the following action:
    'The report identified five risk factors for injury on the road, each of which can be lessened by well-enforced laws: speed, drunken driving, helmets, seat belts and child restraints'.
    As if this were unknown. Though this article shows what's needed:
    'the focus should shift to what it calls "vulnerable road users" -- i.e. pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
    Naked cyclists [the World Naked Bike Ride took place on the 14th of June] who braved the elements last weekend couldn't agree more. Some people have a hard time understanding what being in your birthday suit has to do with bicycle advocacy. Cyclists themselves, especially those braving city streets, totally get it'.
    Now let's hope the Cambodian traffic authorities get it ....
Phnom Penh waterfront
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