As drivers in Phnom Penh navigated the busy intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Street 214 on Wednesday, a team of 18 surveyors wielding handheld counting contraptions tallied the numbers and classified the vehicles by type—the first stage of the study to improve the city’s traffic light system.
Led by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the project will see closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at 26 busy intersections and traffic lights added for the first time to 31 to monitor traffic volume.
On Norodom Boulevard, Siv Sophea, one of the surveyors, said two teams of 18 counters were deployed since last week and had so far collected data from five intersections.
“From 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., we survey motorbikes, cars and other types of vehicles like tuk-tuks to collect data,” he said. When the cameras are up and running, they will monitor real-time traffic flow via computer.
“The CCTV cameras are [intended] mainly for traffic volume monitoring use and not for recording of accidents,” said JICA spokesman Egami Masahiko. However, Eng Sorphea Phnom Penh municipal police bureau chief for serious crimes, said police did intend to make use of the cameras.
“It is a good thing to have camera security footage when investigating criminal incidents,” he said.