I note with some irony the story in Khmer Times last Thursday titled “District governor warned over traffic”. It seems the prime minister noticed how crazy the traffic was outside his big house next to the Independence Monument and ordered something to be done about it.
Good on him. He may have his critics, but when he snaps his fingers, things get done quickly.
The following day, on Friday, there were rumours that the police had suddenly decided to enforce the traffic laws, and not only in front of the prime minister’s house, but around many of the main roads nearby.
On Friday night I personally saw several trucks belonging to the police loaded up with motorcycles and presumed they’d been confiscated for traffic offences.
Anyone who’s ever ridden a motorcycle, driven a car or even tried to cross a road in Phnom Penh would be aware of the chaotic traffic, particularly people going the wrong way up one-way streets or travelling on the wrong side of the road.
Last year a total of 1,780 people died and 5,539 were injured in traffic accidents in Cambodia, according to your story. Many of these deaths and injuries could perhaps have been avoided if people obeyed the traffic laws. Laws in any country don’t mean anything unless they’re enforced.
Does it take a call from the head man to get the police to do what they’re supposed to?