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An academic view on traffic

The Editor,

The lack of effective traffic control in Phnom Penh

discourages tourists and business from coming here.

Unfortunately it

takes resources, resolve and honest authority to solve the problem. But there

are many solutions or combinations of solutions.

The task will be

difficult and extremely large at first, but over time as people are re-educated

to proper and safe driving habits, the job will become routine and easy. The

benefits to life and commerce will far outweigh the costs.

  1. A traffic control engineer should determine the normal flow of traffic for

    all the city and designate through streets, stop streets and one-way or

    limited-access streets as appropriate.

  2. Police must control as many intersections as resources will allow until

    automated traffic lights can be installed. These officers can not be sitting in

    the shade of trees but out in the intersection directing the traffic.

  3. Traffic should move in turns: i.e., all through traffic first, then left

    turns. Cross-street traffic must not move until signaled to do so by the


  4. Create separate lanes for motos, cyclos and cars.
  5. A completely secure impound lot could be established and a rigorous program

    of impounding vehicles of those people who blatantly disobey traffic rules

    should then commence. Vehicles would be held 24 hours or earlier upon payment of

    a fine. No-one should be able to bribe the officers to not enforce the law. The

    news of this impound program should be widely publicized to discourage unlawful


  6. Everyone driving any kind of vehicle should have to study traffic rules and

    pass an examination. After passing the test the driver will receive a small

    certificate. People just learning to drive must pass this exam along with their

    driver's license. All licensed drivers will have up to one year to pass the exam

    from the start of the program.

  7. Pedestrian walk bridges should be constructed across major intersections and

    close by large schools.

  8. Manually operated traffic gates could be used to block traffic at

    intersections to eliminate grid-lock.

  9. It will not take long for people to learn the lesson of obeying rules. Once

    the authority of the police is established the authorities will encounter less

    and less offenders.

The people will actually find that they reach their destinations more quickly

and without accident or tragedy.

- Carole Garrison, PhD. Professor of Criminal Justice, University of

Akron, USA.



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