Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kompong Cham police crack down on drug-using truckers

Kompong Cham police crack down on drug-using truckers

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Twenty-nine garment workers were injured in Kampong Speu province when a truck crashed into the van transporting them earlier this month. national police

Kompong Cham police crack down on drug-using truckers

As part of an ongoing campaign to reduce traffic accidents and prevent impaired driving on public roads, Kampong Cham provincial police have stopped 648 drivers since May, 95 of whom tested positive for drug use, usually methamphetamine derivatives known as “ice” or “yama”.

On Tuesday alone, 167 truck drivers were stopped and checked, and of them, 20 tested positive for the consumption of drugs. All 20 were in their thirties, with seven being drivers, five assistants and eight loaders.

Eth Dara, the provincial deputy police chief, said that on orders from provincial authorities, a campaign was started to check drug use among drivers to reduce traffic accidents.

“We checked 167 men today, all on board container trucks,” he said, adding that documents are being prepared to send 20 of them to court.

Dara said it is the fifth time since May that provincial police have set up checkpoints in Cheung Prey, Ba Theay and Kampong Siem districts. So far, 95 of the 648 men tested were found to have been using drugs.

“The objective of the campaign is to reduce drug use, which we believe is one cause of accidents on the roads,” he said.

Highlighting a major accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs, he said: “The driver drove off from a bridge and hit a house. We found two small bags of drugs on him,” he said.

Run Rath Veasna, head of the Interior Ministry’s Department of Traffic and Public Order, said the daily checks for drugs and alcohol were the traffic police’s main duty.

“We have found that truck drivers who work at night often use drugs. These people are a danger to other road users. When they use drugs, they cannot control their vehicles properly. We try to set up checkpoints often, but we don’t have the capacity to check every road,” he said.

Ear Chariya, the director for the Institute for Road Safety, said when drivers use drugs, the effect is the same as with alcohol consumption.

“We state that the law should not allow any drug users to drive. If a driver uses drugs, they can’t use the road safely,” he said.

The government should also check drivers who ferry garment workers to work, because accidents involving workers result in many injuries and sometimes death, Chariya said.

Suon Vanhong, deputy director-general of the Transportation Department at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said that about 600,000 motor vehicles are registered with his department, including buses, pickups and container trucks.

Meas Virith, spokesman for the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), said the body is expanding its drugs campaign to include combating their use by truck drivers.

“In our campaign, we also combat drug use among truck drivers. We have already instructed transport companies to participate in our action plan. We have asked that they check their staff because we believe that those who work at night could fall into using drugs . . . and cause problems,” Virith said.

He said that as part of its campaign, the NACD also met with company representatives to put in place initiatives to stop possible drug use among their drivers.

“We told them to check on their employees, and invited them to listen to our guidance. We try to identify people who are likely to use drugs. We also distribute urine tests nationwide,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Vietnamese workers in Koh Kong questioned

    The General Department of Immigration (GDI) is questioning 49 Vietnamese nationals who were working illegally in Koh Kong province to build a case and send them back to Vietnam, its Department of Investigation and Procedure director Kem Sarin said on Thursday. GDI forces and provincial authorities

  • Preah Vihear court drops charges against villagers

    The Preah Vihear Provincial Court has dropped all charges against eight ethnic Kuoy villagers who were in a land dispute with the Hengfu Group Sugar Industry Co Ltd since 2014. Wednesday’s decision was made by the judge who tried the case on June 10. The eight

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Eighty replacement peacekeepers set for Mali mission despite Covid

    Eighty Cambodian blue helmet soldiers who completed the peacekeeping mission under the UN umbrella in Mali will return to Cambodia on Friday, said the Centre for Peacekeeping Forces spokeswoman Kosal Malida. “To protect their families and communities from the Covid-19 pandemic, the 80 are required to