19 September 2010

Dying for Corruption

A young motorcyclist died after slamming into a cyclo on a Phnom Penh street. The cyclo-driver, who was not believed to be at fault, took to his heels and disappeared.

In Kampot two young men on a motorcycle were seriously injured after crashing into a car. It was dark and they hadn't turned on the headlights. The panicked driver of the car fled.

Another young motorcyclist died after colliding with a minivan on National Road 4. The motorcyclist was seen speeding whilst driving on the wrong side of the wrong. The blameless man at the wheel of the minivan, fled. This happens often in Cambodia.

Reprehensible to leave someone seriously injured or dying on the side of the road, isn't it? Yet for these innocent drivers it's not the victims that they first think about. Rather, it's that the police will surely arrive. And when they do, anything can happen.

Never mind the facts. Never mind who is at fault. Because for many police out of tragedy comes opportunity. Perhaps the poor cyclo or minivan driver can be shaken down for a few dollars. Or maybe the two young Kampot men are spoilt members of a rich family. And the rich nearly always win 'justice' in Cambodia; the other driver wouldn't stand a chance with the police in such a case.

So they flee. While some one dies alone on the side of the road.

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