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A bit of excitement

By: Casey Nelson Posted: October-28-2010 in
Casey Nelson

A bit of excitement on this afternoon's walk. I was passing the intersection of Sihanouk Blvd and Monivong Blvd when I witnessed a minor traffic accident.

A Land Cruiser was tooling up Monivong against the flow on the wrong side of a divided road when he had a head-on accident with a motorcycle. In fact, I didn't see if he actually hit the moto, but when the motorcyclist was confronted with this Land Cruiser coming the wrong way he either dumped his bike trying to avoid it or was hit lightly and knocked over.

The downed motorcycle blocked the Land Cruiser, laying in the road partially under the front bumper. The driver stepped out of his car briefly, looking at the moto on the ground and at the motorcyclist limping around and rubbing his injured arm. He then demanded the moto-driver drag the motorcycle out of the way so that he could leave. The motorcyclist was indignant, refused and called for help from a group of nearby traffic cops.

The cops trotted over to see what the commotion was about. The Land Cruiser tried backing up to pull around the downed motorcycle, all the while the cops calling and signaling for him to stop. Moving slowly, he got past the fallen motorcycle but a cop then pulled his own motorcycle up in front of the Land Cruiser blocking the way. It stopped. He placed his motorcycle up close against the front bumper and parked, then pointed and yelled at the driver to stay stopped.

The driver demanded that the cops let him pass, but apparently his ordinary license plates didn't entitle him any special treatment, and besides, he was clearly in the wrong. The police ordered him to turn off the car. He refused and this is what happened next...


over 3,000 reads of this.

over 3,000 reads of this. congrats.


What did the moto drive have in his hand?

A friend pointed this out to me. I didn't notice it the first 10 times watching.


Either a phone or a gun. The

Either a phone or a gun. The latter wouldn't surprise me; it's Phnom Penh after all.


Could this be Cambodia’s first viral video?

What might have otherwise become just another anonymous moment of vehicular impunity on the streets of Cambodia’s capital has leapt into the public consciousness and will now likely stay there for much longer than many in officialdom want, thanks to a bystander with a mobile phone camera.

Could this be Cambodia’s first viral video?

The low-fi, 34-second clip was originally on the blog LTO Cambodia last Thursday and has since logged 34,000 views from combined YouTube postings.

Comments on LTO Cambodia range from the jaded – “That’s Phnom Penh!” – to the incredulous.

“How can Cambodia move forward if these people are doing this to their own country?” one poster asks.

The driver has been reported by police as Sok Than, a deputy director at the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations Inspection Department. His family says he suffers from a mental illness, according to deputy municipal traffic police director Pen Khon. The vehicle has been confiscated, while Sok Than was released on Thursday into his family’s care.

It’s unclear if charges will be laid.

“It is an individual’s problem and does not affect the government,” replied Council of Minister Spokesman Phay Siphan when asked by a reporter whether this kind of behaviour, now making the rounds on the social media websites, embarrasses a government struggling to address both impunity and one of the worst traffic records in Asia.

Others were less forgiving.

“He should resign from his position for such behaviour,” said one government officials who did not want to be named. “He is a top official so he should do the polite thing and respect local authorities and the law.”

The incident highlights the immediacy of information in a country where, not too, long ago the official record was something that was always subject to debate.

“These days, when you see an accident or any unusual cases on the street, you can capture that very moment and tell your friends,” said prominent Cambodian blogger Tharum Bun via Google chat.

“Web tools like YouTube and Facebook help spread the stories faster and faster.

“I was on Twitter and quickly learned that a Phnom Penh expat had just posted a blog post with video about a traffic accident. … While watching the video, I told a friend about this and sent her the link,” he added.

“A day later I realised that people on social networking sites shared the video clip on Facebook. Thus, friends of their online friends are well aware of this.”



Great video-no surprise that

Great video-no surprise that they behave like this.
I always carry a hammer in the car and the moto in order to do some real damage to them.


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