Crossing Cambodia

Monday, April 05, 2010

Chasing Cars, pre-Khmer New Year '10

Yesterdays Phnom Penh Post (April 5) has put up an article based on calculations by Handicap International Belgium about what the costs are to the the nation of poor driving (and consequent accidents).
VOA Khmer had already reported on this earlier. Both though delved in the press release by Road Safety Cambodia.
The press release mentions amongst others the relative numbers (deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles) are dropping which is partially blamed by more congestion which means lower speeds = less deaths. However they are still way above regional standards. Though no doubt putting a price tag on this is all part of the pressure the government package but the reality is that putting a price on tragedy doesn't mean that it will compile the government to take action. Tragedies happen. The odd part is that the cost to humans matches the cost to properties, surely that can't be correct.
Why did they they choose blood Friday for the presentation?
  • Talking about safety, the Khmer 440 forum has a thread on the safety of Phnom Penh's streets. The mostly male crowd who inhabit this forum seem to be OK with safety issues though they mostly focus on muggings ...
  • Sihanoukville airport back in the news:
    '[The airport operators] determined to convince airlines to start providing scheduled flights through Preah Sihanouk province’s fully operational airport ...' then the article harks back on the national flag carrier: 'SCA and the government want the new national carrier, Cambodia Angkor Air (CAA), to begin scheduled flights to Preah Sihanouk, but the CAA is apprehensive. Cambodia Angkor Airlines’ vice CEO Lim Kao told the Post Wednesday the carrier’s three planes are already burdened with their runs, at a time when tourism has slowed. He added that CAA is reluctant to open up a new flight path without knowing if there is sufficient demand'.
    If the CAA isn't willing to take a risk in promoting Sihanoukville as Asia's newest beach destination who will? Surely that's why you have designated a national carrier in the first place?
  • Much in the same vein, a conference on ground handling in Asian airports concluded that liberalization of both handling and awarding flight rights are lagging...
  • And then there is the Cambodia Daily. On March 27-28 ('Airline Industry set for Recovery as Prices mount') they mention how things are looking up for the aviation industry in Cambodia, but not for the consumers? Witness new routes an/or expended capacity (Siem Reap - Shanghai; Guangzhou - Phnom Penh; KL - Phnom Penh).
    They also mention that a comeback of Siem Reap Airways is in the final stages.
    One funny thing mentioned is that since CAA have started fares between SR and HCM have risen. Flights between HCM and PP are some of Asia's most overpriced, CAA is certainly not competing ....
  • Talking about rivers and boats. The annual Mekong River Swim is off. In the Asialife April edition besides a lack of volunteers they also mention that due to the newly formed Boat 'Association' prices for renting a boat have become prohibitive ...
  • Next up? Cars with tinted windows.
    'Police have begun a crackdown on cars with tinted windows, as ordered by Prime Minister Hun Sen in a meeting Friday at the Council of Ministers. Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Monday that police were taking a hard line with owners of cars with tinted windows, forcing them to remove the window tinting “to ensure security and order for the Cambodian people”.“Police will eliminate cars with tinted windows from the road,” Khieu Sopheak said, ...'.
    More on Khmer 440. Probably it's Khmer New Year soon ...
  • Odd news. A general takes revenge on an ice seller for damaging his .... car. According to his own sense of justice, a neck shot was required, the ice seller still lives. Is this odd? No the odd thing is that the general will be prosecuted, at least that's what they are saying ...
  • Then there is mob rule. Reported on in various media, no less than 400 'residents' killed two motorbike robbers and left another for dead (CD reports: 'regained consciousness just before his body was to be cremated'!) after intervening with police. Gruesome footage with Khmer media.
  • More odd news.
    'A Cambodian taxi driver was arrested after he ramped up an inter-city fare, then threatened to kill his passengers by driving into a lake unless they paid, local media reported Monday. The driver had initially agreed to take 20 passengers to the eastern province of Prey Veng for 2 dollars a head, the Phnom Penh Post newspaper said. However, halfway there, he stopped the taxi and announced the fare had increased to 5 dollars each. When the passengers refused to hand over the extra money and began arguing with the driver, he threatened to drown them by driving into a nearby lake. A passenger then called the police who arrested the driver. Cambodia lacks public transport, and privately operated minibus taxis, which are often overcrowded, are a common way to travel around the country'.
    Source according to KI Media is dpa, though the PPP also runs this story ....
  • Info on a new bus service to Pakse. Elsewhere there's a thread on Tripadvisor.
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