Bike Rental Crackdown in SihanoukvilleMarch 16, 2007
Travellers considering renting a motorbike while in the coastal resort of Sihanoukville/Kompong Som should be aware that the authorities are currently insisting that foreigners carry a Cambodian drivers license. This post comes from local resident and business owner, “Laud John” and was originally posted on the 440 forum.
” Just to let everyone know that the Cambodian Drivers licence crackdown is on again in Snooky. Yesterday morning I was riding my fiancée’s Auntie’s newish moto down to a friends bar and at the Golden Lions roundabout they had police (the boys in blue plus the Military Police) at every road going into the roundabout pulling almost everyone over.
They pulled me over and told me to go to a table Lots of Barangs and Khmers were around. The Khmers were showing their registration documents. Thinking of the recent rental crackdown I get out my Cambodian Drivers Licence and show that to them and tell them I live here and that it was not a rental bike. Very quickly they let me go with one telling the other I had a Cambo licence. Shortly thereafter my friend and I ride past them again going out into town and they try to stop us I pointed to the table and rode off.
On the way back my friend who has a new moto and papers (whilst awaiting his rego plates) is pulled over. His bike is confiscated as he did not have a Cambo licence and he needs to go and get it back in 3 days time (and of course pay).
He said over 60 bikes were loaded onto a truck and taken away whilst he was there. Apparently all Barangs without a Cambo Licence had their bikes (mostly rental) confiscated. I talked to another friend/visitor who was on a rental bike and he told me that they had tried to pull him off his bike by grabbing his shirt as he rode past them; he went straight back to the rental company gave the bike back and got his passport back. So this rubbish is happening again down there – Barangs need a Cambo Licence but no Motodop needs one!”
Travellers who rent bikes have to leave their passports with bike rental shops in Kompong Som so this could create considerable problems for anybody unlucky enough to have their bike confiscated as it is highly unlikely that the shops would return the passport until the bike was retrieved from the traffic police. The discussion continues on the 440 forum.