Traffic accidents and laws in Cambodia
Riding around the city of Phnom Penh can sometimes be challenging. Whether your mode of transportation is a car, tuk tuk, motorbike or a bicycle, the traffic is horrendous, and sharing the road with all types of transportation can be dangerous. Traffic accidents are one of the leading causes of death in Cambodia. Speeding and drunk driving are the main causes, and motorbikes are the most common vehicle involved in traffic accidents. The traffic laws in Cambodia are not regularly enforced. There are police officers on most busy street corners, but the only time you see police officers working are when they stop drivers and fine them for petty traffic violations. Due to the police officers’ low monthly salaries, often the money (fines) is pocketed, and they also charge foreigners more than locals. Why do the law enforcers target foreigners? It’s because the foreigners do not want to hassle with this and will pay whatever the police officers ask. For the locals, they will stay and bargain with the law enforcers until the police officers are frustrated and let the locals pay for what they asked, just to get them out of their hair, so they can focus on collecting more fines. Try to bargain first, and ask for a receipt after you pay the fine. Yes, corruption in the police system exists in Cambodia. In other developing countries, the corruption is hidden. Getting into a traffic accident can be a traumatic experience, both physical and emotional. Major fatalities are from road accidents which involves tour buses travelling throughout the country and getting hit by drunk drivers, especially at night. Some are driven by 17- and 18-year-olds, without a driver’s licence, and driving under the influence of alcohol. As a result, many insurance companies have stopped selling insurance to the bus companies, and the government is not doing anything about it. This issue is not on the government’s priority list, despite the fact that...
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