I am writing today because I am upset at the lack of concern which drivers have for
the traffic regulations. This morning (6 Oct) at 8:50am I was driving north on Monivong
Blvd. and had almost reached the intersection of Monivong and Achar Hencheay when
a white Toyota Corolla, license plate K8821PP2, traveling in the wrong lane came
at me expecting me to get out of its way.
I did not. I had to stop my motorbike since the car was upon me. I gestured to the
driver that he was completely in the wrong lane, traveling counter to the normal
flow of traffic and that he should return to the southbound lane, The driver simply
shrugged his shoulders and refused to move. The passenger in the back seat seemed
agitated. Pedestrians on the sidewalk stopped to watch the proceedings and the crowd
Eventually, three traffic policemen from the nearby intersection arrived to see what
was holding up the traffic. In my not-so-fluent Khmer, I tried to explain the obvious:
a white car completely in the wrong lane trying to push normal traffic out of its
path! The officers patiently listened while I gesticulated and urged them to write
a traffic violation summons for the flagrant disrespect for the traffic laws.
I could see that the traffic policemen were quite subdued at seeing who the passenger
in the back seat of the white Corolla was. They eventually eased the offending car
through the on-coming traffic into its proper lane and I was about to leave when
they motioned me to the side of the road. They told me that they very much understood
the intention of my little demonstration, but that they were quite powerless to issue
a summons because the passenger of the car was Mr. Khieu Kanharith, Secretary of
State of the Ministry of Information. He, of all people, should really be better
My point is this: traffic laws are made for the general public including members
of the Royal Government and the military. When we use the public roads, we should
all respect the traffic regulations which are there to improve the flow of traffic
on our already over-crowded streets.
Leaders should lead and give good example. They should not take advantage of their
positions or their red/white license plates. Laws exist for all the Cambodian people,
not for just some of them. Let us all be more concerned in respecting the law so
that Cambodia and its people can be proud that it has laws which are observed in
fact and not only in fiction.
I respectfully suggest to Mr. Kanharith that he would do well to enroll his driver
in a driving school in order to learn the traffic regulations and not be the cause
of traffic jams in Phnom Penh.
- P La Ramee, Phnom Penh.