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A person arrives at a Virak Buntham office in central Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon.
A person arrives at a Virak Buntham office in central Phnom Penh yesterday afternoon. Hong Menea

Three bus companies earn ministry warning

The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation has issued warning letters to three transportation companies it has deemed irresponsible, ministry officials confirmed yesterday.

Minister Sun Chanthol used a Thursday meeting on the implementation of traffic laws to reprimand bus companies Virak Buntham, Rith Mony and 15SH for negligence and breaking traffic laws.

But Va Sim Soriya, the ministry spokesman, confirmed no immediate action would be taken to penalise the companies.

“The letter was only a warning. If we see a bus driver who is careless, we will stop the driver and revoke the driver’s licence,” Soriya said. “But as for a company shutdown, I cannot tell you anything.”

Road Safety Institute head Ear Chariya welcomed the action, saying it’s time for the ministry to get serious about cracking down on bus companies that violate the law. “In the past the ministry only issued an announcement and some companies didn’t pay attention,” he said.

In response, Nov Keavirak, director of Virak Buntham’s Phnom Penh branch, insisted his company teaches its drivers about the need to obey traffic laws. “Regarding the advice of the ministry, we teach our drivers to be highly cautious,” Keavirak said. “In fact, we have four meetings per month.”

During Thursday’s meeting, Chanthol also asked transportation companies to consider lowering their fees alongside the falling price of petrol to make it easier for poor Cambodians to travel.

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