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Tuk-tuk drivers angry over confiscations and fines

Tuk-tuk drivers angry over confiscations and fines

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090630_05.jpg

Police chief stands by measures against drivers parked on major roads, saying they contribute to traffic congestion.

Photo by: Heng Chivoan

Tuk-tuk drivers wait for fares along Street 240 in Phnom Penh last week.

MORE than 1,000 tuk-tuk and motorbike drivers thumb-printed a petition over the weekend protesting the decision by Traffic Police to confiscate 10 tuk-tuks that were parked on Sisowath Quay and Sothearos Boulevard on Friday morning and to fine the drivers 100,000 riels (US$24) each. 

Vorn Pao, president of the Independent Democracy of Informal Economic Association (IDEA), said he met with municipal officials including Phnom Penh Police Chief Touch Naruth Friday afternoon to express the drivers' anger.    

He said drivers wanted officials to allow tuk-tuks to park on Sisowath Quay and Sothearos and Norodom boulevards.

"The car drivers can park on these roads, so why can't tuk-tuk drivers park there?" he said.  

Touch Naruth said Sunday that tuk-tuks were prohibited from parking on those three roads because they would contribute to traffic congestion.

He said police would continue to confiscate illegally parked tuk-tuks.

Chan Vuthy, 32, a tuk-tuk driver stationed in front of the FCC on Sisowath Quay, said he had paid a fine of 10,000 riels several times previously for parking there, but that police had never confiscated his tuk-tuk before Friday, when they took it to the Daun Penh district police station and fined him 100,000 riels.

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