RCAF and embassy cars were the worst, students said.
With a new traffic law on the books, high-school students in green uniforms directing
traffic were a common sight on main city boulevards during morning rush hour last
The students were part of a 10-day traffic safety program initiated by Deputy Prime
Minister Sok An and organized by their schools in the wake of the new traffic law.
The students received two days of training on the traffic law before going on duty.
The program was held to make people aware that the new law will be enforced as of
Oct. 1 and also to give students the opportunity to be involved in a social project
before the school term started, said Lak Sam Ath, the Secretary General of the National
Association of Cambodian Scouts.
"Many citizens especially those from the countryside are not knowledgeable about
the traffic law. They don't even know what actually causes the road accidents,"
said Sam Ath.
He said the scouts may do a similar program in Siem Reap or other busy cities in
The scout's main duties were to raise red flags to halt traffic at pedestrian walks
and to remind drivers to wear their helmets or seatbelts in accordance with the law.
The law also prohibits talking on telephones while driving.
The students said most of the drivers respected the traffic law, but some high ranking
officials and public servants - and foreigners - were difficult to deal with.
"The cars that drove fast and crossed the line mostly had RCAF plates,"
said Lim Tek Hour. "The foreigners driving embassy cars were even worse,"
"When I asked a man to fasten his seatbelt, he took off his pants belt and said
'yes, this is my seatbelt'," said Ny Vy Sona, an 11th grade student from Sisowath
High School who was working at Preah Sihanouk Blvd. and Street 63.
Tek Hour, also from Sisowath High, said some drivers just looked at him and laughed.
"Some drivers intentionally crossed the pedestrian line in order to test how
I was going to react."
Despite the difficulties, they said the duty was interesting.
"I think this work is successful, and I am happy that people listened to what
we asked them to do," said student Nov Tam.
The students received 8,000 riel per day. Their reports will be filed with the ministry.