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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - A cure for traffic anarchy

A cure for traffic anarchy

I have been impressed by the progress the government has made in easing the traffic


New modern stop lights with the number of seconds ticking to let people know how

much time they have to cross the roads are present at almost every major intersection.

Concrete road dividers have been laid to prevent anarchic turns at crowded intersections.

Most roads in the city have been paved. As a result, unhealthy air has been considerably


However it is upsetting to see the continuing rampant commission of traffic offences.

Driving in the wrong directions, making unsafe turns at will, running red lights,

parking on the wrong side of the road, just to name a few, are almost acceptable

common practice. One should question why we as drivers act so irresponsibly on the


I am also certain that most of us would very much want safe, orderly, and clean roads

to ride on. What we lack is a sense of social responsibility. By that I mean we all

need to take a closer look at ourselves and ask why the traffic is such a mess.

Government alone cannot solve this problem. We citizens have a much bigger stake

in ensuring that the streets we drive on every day are orderly and safe. No one wants

to end up in a hospital when they are supposed to be at work. If we, as responsible

adults, take action to ease bit by bit the current traffic chaos by simply obeying

the traffic signs and lights, a reduction in road rage, fatal accidents, and destruction

to public assets due to drivers' improper movement of the vehicles could become reality.

To get started, motor vehicle operators need to go beyond the stereotypical mind

of "I cannot observe the traffic rules alone while everyone else is breaking

it or I wouldn't get anywhere."

Each of us needs to be convinced that the problem won't be resolved by sticking to

this conventional idea. One good egg is always better than two bad eggs. It's our

choice whose side we want to be on. I would certainly want to be a good one. It's

long overdue for us to take action to end this chaos. It is now time to give ourselves

some personal values by abiding by the rules.

Nothing is more embarrassing than committing traffic violations while driving in

a very nice vehicle. If not now, when? If not us, who?

At the same time, traffic police also need to strengthen their enforcement if we

are to ensure higher rate of success. I do not want to sound as though I'm preaching

to pilots how to fly planes, but I certainly do want to see the "planes"

fly often and reach destinations safe and on time.

Together we can do better!



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