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Traffic lights new eye in sky

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Authorities fasten surveillance cameras to traffic lights at an intersection of Phnom Penh’s Monivong Boulevard yesterday. The government hopes the cameras will prevent traffic accidents and crime. Heng Chivoan

Traffic lights new eye in sky

Phnom Penh police are in the process of installing 20 security cameras in several high-density areas around the capital, in what they say is a bid to reduce traffic-related accidents and crimes, police said yesterday.

The project, initiated with the cooperation of China’s Ministry of Public Security, will see cameras placed alongside stoplights near Canadia Industrial Park, O’Russey Market, Central Market, the German Embassy and Olympic Stadium among other heavily trafficked areas.

“Passengers who do not respect traffic lights and signs will be fined by police based on the evidence we record in the cameras,” said Som Thearith, spokesman of the General Commissariat of National Police’s (GCNP) Department of Radio and Communication, which is heading the initiative.

Footage recorded by the cameras will be stored for potential later review at the GCNP’s central office in Phnom Penh.

The GCNP’s Public Order Department Director Run Raoth Veasna said that once they detect any foul play, officers will immediately be dispatched to the scene.

“We will send our men there immediately to ease as well as clamp down on the crimes,” Veasna said.

According to Pily Wong, vice president of the Cambodian Automotive Industry Federation, the government-run project could pave the way for safer streets in the capital.

“I think it’s a good idea, because it’s not only promoting road safety but also the security of people from criminals,” Wong said, adding that the installation of the new cameras reflects the “push by authorities to improve the current traffic situation in the country”.

“The challenge though is getting their subordinates to be all in line, as some policemen still ask for money. So maybe the new camera system could prevent this kind of thing from happening.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SARAH TAGUIAM

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