THe Heavy-Vehicle Driver Training Centre, under the General Department of Land Transport, was launched at a ceremony on Wednesday.
It will provide training to heavy-vehicle drivers, on St 598, Chraing Chamreh II commune, Russei Keo district, in the capital.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said the ministry established the training centre to reduce traffic accidents caused by heavy vehicles, especially those transporting containers.
He said it will contribute to an increase in the quality of heavy vehicle drivers by providing theory and hands-on practice, and that it will be a model for other heavy-vehicle training centres to follow.
“There were 230,000 heavy vehicles registered in Cambodia, but only 60 per cent of the drivers have licenses for this type of vehicle."
“On October 5 or October 6, the ministry cooperated with the police to inspect and detain heavy vehicles that were driven without licenses."
“We found that 24 or 25 per cent of drivers don’t carry proper licenses, while another 10 per cent use fake licenses. They were told to have licenses,” said Chanthol.
The founding director of the Institute for Road Safety, Ear Chariya, said he supported this type of institute because most road traffic accidents were caused by container truck drivers.
He said they needed to drive more skilfully than normal car drivers because their vehicles were larger and could cause greater damage in a mishap.
Chariya said if the ministry offered more of such training, then it must also follow strict rules in issuing licenses which must be given only to those with proper qualifications.
The ministry, he said, must work with delivery companies, and not allow unlicensed drivers on the road.
“The centre can help reduce traffic accidents, but when we look at it, only 10 per cent drove heavy vehicles and only five per cent had training. We should also focus on training small and big car drivers because they too can cause accidents,” he said.
A container truck driver in the Veng Sreng Boulevard area, who did not wish to be named, said he wanted to learn how to drive heavy vehicles safely but didn’t know where to receive such training.
He said it asked a delivery company to train him, but still found it difficult to obtain a license.
The truck driver said he supported the setting up of training centres as they could provide a professional set of skills and knowledge.
“Heavy-vehicle drivers mostly are not older people. They are young and they are not very careful. I am afraid they will cause harm to others. I don’t know if they have the skills or licenses to drive safely,” he said.