Crossing Cambodia

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chasing Cars, a month later

  • Air France are coming this way. Bye, bye Bangkok. (That's if there are no strikes ....).
    More from the Phnom Penh Post ( 11 October 2010) Airberlin and Bangkok Airways sign deal to allow good connection via Bangkok.
  • The airport in Siem Reap. To relocate? To enlargen?
    'Airport management company Société Concessionaire Des Aéroports believes Siem Reap’s existing aerodrome can cope with future traffic demand, despite recently approved plans to build an alternative US$1-billion facility'.
    So there.
  • Trains are riding, analysisi are written. Keeping the iron silk line on track. Quite. But things are only starting. Analysis in Phnom Penh Post (21 October 2010).
    Elsewhere Khmer 440 forum has this:
    'Went the back way to kep last weekend and crossed the new rail line at several spots.
    I was astonished to see wagons loaded with ballast being unloaded onto the tracks.The line looked nearly finished and it actually opened yesterday.
    The new line means that trains can now carry cement from kampot to PP which will save the roads.
    But today we read that only hours after the first train ran it collided with a cement truck and was derailed!
    Toll holdings say that the train did all it could to warn the oncoming truck'.
    The final word on this thread:
    'Cambodian government will solve the problem, by passing a law that requires everyone to wear a crash helmet'.
    And here a more business like article on the train going forward.
  • More accidents, more expensive cars, more claims at insurance companies. Progress. It must be a good business:
    'Cao Minh Son, chief executive officer of Cambodia Vietnam Insurance, has seen the firm’s premiums total $750,000 over the first nine months – while paying out less than $8,000 in claims during the period'.
  • More car business: sales are up (Phnom Penh Post, October 6, 2010). Quote:
    '“People are becoming more fond of new cars because they’re thinking about the quality and safety,”'.
    As opposed to the good old days when buyers were just thinking about a set of wheels ...?
  • Letter to Phnom Penh Post's Editor ( 19 October 2010):
    'Nowadays, a lot of traffic lights have been set up in Phnom Penh. The traffic lights help people to avoid traffic jams. Violators are always disobeying the rules.
    Some of the traffic lights cause traffic jams because they don’t have the left turn signal. I think the government should set up the right traffic light'.
    Get right, get left.
  • And the answer to those drunken drivers who drive around carefree in Phnom's streets ignoring all the rules? A SMS.
    'Gary Foo, marketing manager for Hello, said the company began sending out anti-drunken driving messages to subscribers last week at the behest of the National Police.
    The messages state: “If you drink, do not drive. If you drive, do not drink”'.
    More in the article:
    'On October 1, municipal traffic police established nighttime drunken-driving checkpoints in all eight districts of the capital, and pulled over nearly 100 drivers in three days. The checkpoints were suspended, however, for the Pchum Ben festival, and Chev Hak said yesterday that this week’s flooding had prevented police from setting them up again.
    “We planned to restart on October 11, but because the weather was not good, we decided to suspend. We will carry on from this week after there is no more rain,” he said yesterday.
    Prach Chanthou, Kampong Speu’s traffic police chief, also said checkpoints had not been set up there, citing the weather and a “lack of street lamps”'.
  • And thus prior to Pchum Ben:
    'Municipal traffic police established nighttime drunken-driving checkpoints in all eight districts of the capital over the weekend, stopping nearly 100 drivers and fining four of them.
    The law calls for fines ranging between 6,000 riels and 25,000 riels (about US$1.50 to $6) for drunken driving, depending on vehicle type'.
  • Another long discussion on the merits of parking guards on the khmer 440 forum. The starter:
    'I always hate those parking guys who put the piece of paper on the vehicle and then deamand the return of the other half when one returns.
    I hate it when they try and demand three thousand riel for parking a car at the night market.
    I went to meta house last night on the moto,quite a nice venue but with a crap movie on.
    Imagine our surprise when we came out for the parking guy to demand 500 riel for each moto.
    Why a barang business would get into charging for parking is beyond me.
    I wont be going back'.
    The discussion then goes on and helps readers dealing with parking here, esp. for free.
  • Big festival, big toll:
    'Preliminary figures indicate that there were more road deaths during the final three days of this year’s Pchum Ben festival than there were last year, despite the fact that fewer collisions were recorded'.
    Phnom Penh Post ( 10 October 2010)
  • Prior to the festival, big prices too:
    '... bus companies and taxi drivers are set to increase their fees by 25 to 100 percent during the five days of Pchum Ben, a festival in which Cambodian people commemorate and honour dead ancestors'.
    The quote:
    'But many passengers remain disgruntled over doling out extra cash. Svay Rieng University student, Phok Marady, 22, who recently came to Phnom Penh to visit his uncle, said he had been charged more than usual. “It is difficult because my mother gives me only a little money,” he said'.
  • Anarchy in the kingdom:
    'Dangkor district governor Kit Sopha said he had ordered police to arrest eight wayward cows on Saturday and another four on Sunday. The bovines are being detained at the My Chance Centre, a drug rehabilitation facility in the city’s Sen Sok district.
    “This is not the first time we have cracked down on roaming cows,” Kit Sopha said.
    He added that the animals had been detained in connection with the Kingdom’s Land Traffic Law, which prohibits animals from “walking in a disorderly manner on a public road”. Their owners must now write letters to City Hall in order to get their animals back, he said'.
  • Advertising for free on Expat Advisory Services:
    'Just seen the tuk tuk limo,all black with a uniformed driver.
    He has free water,face towels,masks and a small library.
    Call mr limo on 077 33 77 01'.
    A library?
  • New developments: a new bridge. Old one is now off-limits to some. And the new bridge costs money. Phnom Penh Post (24 September 2010):
    'Trucks and vehicles with 25 or more seats have been prohibited from crossing the Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge across the Tonle Sap and must instead pay to use the newly finished Prek Phnov Bridge on the city’s outskirts, Phnom Penh municipal authorities said'.
  • Finally blame the messenger. According to OECD the past decade has seen a rise of over 300% . The government response:
    'Tin Prosoeur, deputy chief of the Traffic Department at the Interior Ministry, yesterday questioned the accuracy of the 328 percent figure. “We acknowledge that traffic fatalities are still increasing, but they have not jumped up to these high statistics,” he said'.
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