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Heavy trucks feel pinch

An overloaded truck is inspected by authorities. The Public Works Ministry announced that it seized 242 overloaded trucks and levied fines totalling more than $144,000 last month. Photo supplied
An overloaded truck is inspected by authorities. The Public Works Ministry announced that it seized 242 overloaded trucks and levied fines totalling more than $144,000 last month. Photo supplied

Heavy trucks feel pinch

Transportation Ministry inspection stations last month seized 242 overloaded trucks, nearly 100 more than the month prior, and more than doubled the fines dished out to offending vehicle owners, according to a ministry report released on Tuesday.

The government has repeatedly pledged to toughen measures dealing with overloaded trucks, which have been involved in a number of incidents in recent years involving severe damage to roads and bridges. Just last month, a vehicle overloaded with illegal timber collapsed a bridge in Kampot’s Chhouk district.

The report for February showed 96 more trucks seized than in January, when 146 overloaded trucks were impounded. The report also states the ministry collected over 584 million riel ($144,008) in fines from truck owners, up from 277 million riel in January.

According to the report, the trucks stopped in February were between 4 and 35 tonnes overweight, while the trucks stopped in January were between 4 and 26 tonnes overweight.

“Our roads can endure [up to] 40 tonnes, but not every kind of truck can be loaded with 40 tonnes,” said ministry spokesman Var Simsorya. “Some trucks are allowed to load 14 to 16 tonnes, but if they are loaded more than this, it can cause road damage.”

Article 26 of Cambodia’s Road Law regulates the weight vehicles can carry on the basis of their axle types.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-Cambodia, said the ministry needs to do more to inform citizens about how they can report the trucks.

“[If people] understand what constitutes an overloaded truck and can report it to the ministry . . . it will be more effective,” he said.

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