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Heavy trucks ‘ravaging’ national roads

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A truck is stopped for inspection. More than 172 overloaded vehicles were pulled over and fined last month. Transport Ministry

Heavy trucks ‘ravaging’ national roads

Authorities pulled over 172 overloaded vehicles and a total of 242 million riel ($60,000) in fines were handed out in May. It is about six per cent more than April when 161 vehicles were stopped, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport report released on June 1.

The ministry said overloaded trucks were ravaging national roads, hitting the national burse as well as damaging public property and endangering lives.

Chhuon Vorn, director-general of the General Department of Land Transport, told The Post on June 2 that most traffic violations were caused by owners adding extra cargo.

Vorn added that owners as well as drivers ignored the law and always increased loads to make more money, regardless of the harm overloaded vehicles cause.

“Traffic accidents happen for a number of reasons such as mechanical problems, vehicle overloading, no driver’s license, or the vehicle has not been checked properly,” said Vorn.

Lim Sokchea, Senior Adviser of the Coalition for Road Safety noted that the number of overloaded trucks increased in May after the government eased traffic restrictions after the lockdown.

“Resources available for police and other authorities to enforce traffic laws is limited making it difficult to prevent traffic accidents and damage to property,” she said.

She added that authorities have applied most resources to preventing Covid-19 and drivers have taken advantage of the situation.

Kim Panha, the director of Asia Injury Prevention Foundation, said this problem is not confined to Cambodia as other countries have similar problems.

According to Panha, the government and relevant institutions have taken significant steps to deal with the problem but with authorities occupied with Covid-19 means people can take advantage of the situation and break traffic laws with impunity.

“To prevent more overloaded trucks, government institutions should increase fines and require companies to install GPS or any device that can show the vehicles weight,” he said.

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