Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Taxi drivers feel safer on northwest roads

Taxi drivers feel safer on northwest roads

Taxi drivers feel safer on northwest roads

T he two roads connecting the five northwestern provinces with the capital have

become less tense security-wise during the last few weeks, say taxi-drivers and

their passengers.

Previously famous for ambushes and robberies conducted

by bandits, the Khmer Rouge and undisciplined government soldiers, Route 5 and

part of Route 6 are now apparently safer.

Route 5 links Phnom Penh with

Kompong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey, and Route 6 brings

together Siem Reap and Sisophon.

Sim Chamroen, 34, a soldier-turned

driver, said he had difficulty taking passengers from Pursat to Battambang.

Apart from frequent ambushes, the taxi-drivers still had to feed the

great many, mainly unlawful, check-points.

At each one soldiers had been

demanding between 3,000 to 5,000 riel to cross their zones, said

Chamroen.

But now, a driver can pay just a few hundred riel to fewer

check-points.

This dramatic change is believed to have followed a recent

speech on transportation security by Prime Minister Ranariddh.

Sellers

have blamed the high price of local goods, especially meat and vegetables, for

the difficulties they have bribing their way through check-points.

However, taxis are still facing some security problems driving on the

road between Sisophon and Siem Reap where drivers still have to pay a few

thousand riel at each of the ten check-points.

And passengers are also

advised to hide money, gold necklaces and watches in case of ambushes and

robberies which occasionally occur, especially later in the afternoon.

A

taxi-driver who asked for anonymity said most of the incidents were conducted by

unruly government soldiers.

According to many taxi-drivers and owners of

passenger boats, the same problems are still taking place in other provinces in

the north and northeast.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro