May Thousands of Roundabouts Blossom

FILES: A Cambodian traffic policeman directs the traffic along a street in Phnom Penh on March 15, 2012. (Photo: AFP)

The impending launch, maybe in June, by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport of an application enabling the removal of points from the licenses of drivers who commit offences under the Road Traffic Law is supposed to provide a new tool to improve road safety.



However, the effectiveness of a license with points in this field will remain subject to the strictness of traffic police officers. But the thousands of drivers without license—especially drivers of two-wheeled vehicles of less than 125 cubic centimeters—will reduce its impact while those users are very much exposed to accidents, whether they cause or are victims of those accidents, due to unbridled driving.     



In any case, if the repressive component remains essential in road safety policy, the issue of the safety of the infrastructure is no less important. While we can rejoice at the effort currently made throughout the country to build new roads, at the same time we have to be concerned about the increasing risks due to increasing traffic.



For those who spend a lot of time on roads, it is easy to notice the growing number of dangerous junctions or driving maneuvers prone to cause accidents such as U-turns on streets and roads with heavy traffic.   



One only has to take Russian Boulevard in Phnom Penh to realize the danger that represents—and face—the vehicles and motorcycles that make U-turns where there is no divider in the middle of the 4-line street.      



To limit risks, measures must be taken: putting in roundabouts at regular intervals and filling the gaps in-between dividers. 



Such roundabouts should also be installed in the provinces and especially on 4-lane roads that are punctuated by numerous dangerous junctions.      



In addition to contributing to slowing down traffic, this would make it possible to really prohibit dangerous U-turns that today’s road users make out of necessity.  


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