Crossing Cambodia

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chasing Cars, pre-P'Chum Ben 2009

With just a few days to go before P'Chum Ben kicks off, law enforcement seems to be stricter than ever before. I have heard from drivers getting fined (though at unofficial rates) for dodging red lights and not wearing seat belts. Yesterday authorities even had the audacity to apprehend moto's driving the wrong way up street 63! Just goes to show how a little financial incentive can kick-start traffic police into laying down the law ....

'Motorists and pedestrians last week make their way through flood-soaked streets in Phnom Penh' (Phnom Penh Post, 14 Sept., 2009).
  • Details are Sketchy also refers to the photo of Cambo's PM moto-ing around Kampot, finding the photo all the way over at and repeating the comment on the need to fasten the helmet straps. However the law in Cambodia goes as follows: Chapter III, Art. 9:
    '4. The drivers who drive motorcycles, tricycles and the motorcycles with trailers / remorque must wear safety helmets'.
    It doesn't stipulate anything about how it should be fastened or what actually constitutes a safety helmet. The same article also mentions that driving and using mobile phones is not allowed, now there's a potential money spinner ....
  • Continuing with the PM, he now has told transport firms not to overload so as to protect bridges and road surfaces. He also highlighted the problem of corruption in meeting this.
    'He [the PM] noted that the ministries concerned would also need to take account of low-level corruption, saying that simply weighing trucks would not be sufficient, as drivers could avoid the measure by giving money to officials'.
    Seems a bit unfair if high level corruption is allowed to prevent the lower echelons from earning a little extra.
Khmer September Caption contest 2. My favourite:
'Bus driver: We can still make it. First we stop here for nyum bai'.

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