Traffic Lanes

“The Kingdom of Wonder” lives up to its tourism marketing slogan in many ways. There are an infinite number of things to wonder about in this country.

One trait that has always intrigued me is why Cambodia drivers will not abide by traffic lanes. It’s as if lanes are painted on roads only for decoration. Whereas in most countries, drivers unconsciously maintain a position in the middle of the lane, it is the norm here for a driver, especially with a three- or four-wheel vehicle, to make sure that at least one wheel straddles either the left or right lane marker.

Here vehicles in both direction straddle the line.
The view from inside a line-straddling tuk-tuk.

Does it give them some sense of security, helping them establish a defined place in the universe? Are they allowing for motorcycles or other vehicles to pass them on either side? Who knows. My best guess is that it is just a fact of a culture that has very little structure and discipline. People grow up doing what they want to do and there is little rule or enforcement of law. There is little or no consciousness–certainly no compunction–to follow established rules. That may help to explain why they don’t need to stay in their lane. It doesn’t help much in explaining why they need to straddle the line.