Silly (and dangerous) laws

There are a lot of things that I don’t understand here, but one law in particular stands out: it is illegal to drive in the daytime with your headlights on. This law continues to be enforced despite all recent studies that show that using headlights in the daytime deters accidents.  It is not, however, illegal to drive with lights off in the dark.  Many new car and motorcycle manufacturers, heeding the aforementioned studies, are making their vehicles to have the lights turn on automatically with the car.  Because of this, Cambodians are taking out their light bulbs or unplugging them to avoid tickets in the daytime.  Most frightening is that they do not put the bulbs in or reconnect them at night. So, in a country with little to no driving rules, a good percentage of the vehicles are driving around in the dark. To make matters worse, we live close enough to the equator that there is only 12 hours of sunlight: 6am to 6pm.



  1. From a legal perspective, pehaps these laws were passed to empower the personal injury lawyers in Cambodia to file frivolous lawsuits (like in the US?). Or maybe driving in the dark without lights encourages a driver to pay closer attention to the road and drive at slower speeds. Or maybe the law just makes no sense. I’d stay in at night if I were you. Do the vehicles make noise? Maybe you can hear them even when you can’t see them.

  2. Driving in the dark is scary regardless of how much attention you are paying. I do have to remember at night though to make sure that the moto-taxis that I take has its lights on. As for frivolous law-suits, I don’t hear much about those here. It is, however, a good way for policemen to ticket foreigners here. Traffic laws appear to only really apply to foreigners, or so I hear.

  3. we all have them in Wisconsin…97.18(4)

    (4) The serving of colored oleomargarine or margarine at a public eating place as a substitute for table butter is prohibited unless it is ordered by the customer

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