Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tuk-tuks need a redesign, not a ban



Tuk-tuks need a redesign, not a ban

Tuk-tuks need a redesign, not a ban

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the front-page article in the Post about officials' plan to prevent tuk-tuks and motorbike-pulled trailers from travelling on Norodom Boulevard ("Tuk-tuks warned of new ban", July 30, 2009). The article stirred me to think of possible ways to improve tuk-tuk transportation in Cambodia, particularly in Phnom Penh.

There is no denying that tuk-tuks are an important mode of public transportation in Phnom Penh, serving locals at a fairly reasonable price. Some tourists prefer to travel via tuk-tuk to tour the city because they think it is safe and charming. The slow pace also allows them to take photos and chat with each other while travelling.

But the presence of tuk-tuks on the roads also adds to the chaos of traffic in Phnom Penh. Their large size makes them difficult to navigate, and some are obviously not built with safety in mind - such as those with very thin metal bars to support their back seats, which can be dangerous for larger passengers. Some tuk-tuks are powered by very weak and old motorbikes that cannot effectively transport heavy passengers and goods, leading to awkward turns that obstruct traffic.

Instead of banning tuk-tuks from the streets, we should try to think of ways we can make them better, thereby improving transportation for everyone in the capital. Cambodia must have enough transportation experts to produce a tuk-tuk that is safer and more in line with Khmer design principles than those currently on the roads.

The development of such a model could probably be accomplished through a tuk-tuk design competition. The winning entry would need to be approved by the authorities, and then manufacturers could be licensed to produce the new model.

Everyone would stand to benefit from a move to improve our tuk-tuks rather than to ban them outright.

Yuthira Un
Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author's and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there