The letter from Mohammad Abu Sayed Mondal (Road Safety Needs Attention, Phnom Penh
Post, Sept. 25 edition) has good intentions, but his suggestion might not fully address
the problem. While all education about safety is good, we have to target the education
to get the maximum benefit.
If one looks at the behavior of people on the roads of Phnom Penh, one will notice
that the Cambodians generally ride on bicycles and small motorbikes travelling at
around 30 kilometers per hour, the legal maximum. The biggest hazard surely comes
from the enormous number of foreign drivers in their macho four-wheel drive vehicles.
These can be seen on the wrong side of the road passing other vehicles, speeding,
and parking in such a way that it is clear the driver has no thought for other road
I suggest that the greatest contribution to road safety would be to restrict the
private use of UNTAC vehicles. This would drastically reduce the numbers of drunken
drivers who currently represent a much greater risk than the gun-toting motorbike
stealers. The behavior of many of these drivers, against which the local police are
powerless, is more akin to the arrogance of an occupying force than guests who have
been invited into a country to help.
Good house guests obey the house rules or risk their welcome wearing out.
- David Hayter, SKIP Cambodia