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Police target oversize trucks

091020_05
Workers lift a palm tree by crane onto the back of a truck in Siem Reap town.

Owners of extended vehicles face potential fines, suspensions.

TRAFFIC police are in the midst of a crackdown on oversize shipping vehicles that includes fines and other penalties for the companies and businesspeople who own them, officials said Monday.

“Their oversized vehicles have caused disorder on our streets, including accidents ... and damage to roads and bridges,” said Him Yan, director of the Department of Public Order at the Ministry of Interior.

Since the beginning of the crackdown on October 10, he said, vehicle owners have faced the suspension of their business licences and civil charges if caught breaching regulations.

However, he added that no vehicles have been confiscated, as drivers appeared to be coming into compliance. Him Yan could not say if any fines had been given.

Commercial shipping vehicles can be no more than 12.3 metres long and 4.2 metres tall, but Him Yan said that illegally modified trucks often measure 17 metres to 20 metres long and carry goods stacked well over the legal height limit.

The crackdown follows an order signed by Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on October 5, demanding stricter enforcement of the Land Traffic Law and echoing a September 15 order from Prime Minister Hun Sen for senior transport and public works officials to close down firms that violate weight limits for trucks.

“There is only one way to [protect] our roads and bridges, to ensure our people’s safety,” Hun Sen said at the time.

Sann Socheata, road safety programme manager at Handicap International, said her organisation was preparing to launch its Fleet Safety programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and police nationwide.

The programme aims to encourage private companies to adopt stronger internal safety policies, including limits on load size and consecutive driving hours.

“We will have materials to provide to management … about the importance of fleet safety, as well as a road safety manual for drivers,” she said.
Sann Socheata said Handicap International would initially deliver its programme to 20 shipping, bussing and petroleum companies.

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