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CPP lawmaker calls for inquiry into road rage

A screenshot from a video showing the damage done to the car in an road rage incident late last week in Phnom Penh. Fresh News
A screenshot from a video showing the damage done to the car in an road rage incident late last week in Phnom Penh. Fresh News

CPP lawmaker calls for inquiry into road rage

Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Sar Sokha has called for the arrest of a road rage perpetrator, publishing the alleged offender’s information on Facebook following an incident on Saturday night that saw a Lexus SUV’s windows smashed.

According to footage from a camera mounted on the victim’s car, on Saturday night, the Lexus honked at a Ford Ranger driving on the wrong side of the road on Russian Boulevard in Phnom Penh. In response, the driver of the Ford turns around and begins pursuing the Lexus, pulling alongside and smashing its passenger-side window with a metal pipe.

The Lexus’s driver begins to pursue the truck but is discouraged by a woman who appears to be his wife and drives past the stopped truck instead. The Ford then gives chase again, attacking the vehicle once more when the Lexus stops to seek help, breaking its back window.

Multiple officials declined to comment on the incident yesterday, and Phnom Penh police chief Choun Sovann told local media that he had ordered relevant authorities to find the suspect.

Taking matters into his own hands, the CPP’s Sokha – who is Interior Minister Sar Kheng’s son – uploaded to Facebook what he said were registration documents from the Ford, identifying the owner as a Daun Penh resident, and posting his phone number as well.

“We hope that the criminal police cooperate with relevant authorities in finding the suspect and bringing him to face justice,” Sokha wrote.

Sokha could not be reached to explain how he obtained the information, and calls to the alleged perpetrator’s phone went unanswered.

Ear Chariya, an independent traffic safety expert, said incidents like this one are “very common”, and were often a result of a lack of implementation of existing laws.

“People are very frustrated when they see other people violating the law and officials not implementing it,” he said. “I think the implementation of the law would lead to less incidents [like this one]. People are not respecting traffic laws and right of way.”

Indeed, traffic violations are more rule than exception in Phnom Penh. But municipal traffic police chief Chev Hak insisted that such violations only happen when officials aren’t around. “They are only afraid of the police, not the law. When there are police they don’t drive in the wrong direction.”

Nonetheless, the Lexus’s dashcam footage appears to show the driver of the Ford attacking the SUV as it idles right next to a soldier, who does not intervene.

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