By Kenneth Wilson
It is stating the obvious to say that traffic congestion in Phnom Penh is approaching a crisis. Will Phnom Penh be another Bangkok or Jakarta? Both reached gridlock before being forced to tackle the problem. Or might Phnom Penh be able to avoid the inevitable in the same way that it has gone from having almost no landline phones to having one of the most extensive mobile phone networks in the region? With road infrastructure becoming overwhelmed with vehicles, how will the country cope with this challenge in the future? Will the rise of car ownership be counterbalanced by rising fuel prices and, yet, increasing pollution and smog?
By: Dr Pieter J M Van Maaren
EARLY this month, we were gripped with shock when we read in our morning newspapers of a horrific road crash on National Route 4 in Preah Sihanouk province that left four dead, including the sons of two well-known Khmer comedians. This was certainly a rude wake-up call for all of us. The harsh reality is this: five or six people die every day on Cambodia’s roads, and traffic injuries are the second-biggest cause of deaths in this country after acute respiratory infections. In 2010, according to the National Road Safety Committee’s Road Crash and Victim Information System (RCVIS), there were 1,816 road fatalities and 80 per cent of the victims were male.
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