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Local drivers claiming peak time heavy truck ban in capital ignored

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A cement truck travelling on St 371 in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Local drivers claiming peak time heavy truck ban in capital ignored

Commuters claim that heavy trucks are still entering Phnom Penh during the banned hours between 6am to 9pm in violation of the law.

However, authorities claim that the ban has been implemented without any exceptions and that they will take immediate action against violators if they receive timely or verifiable about them.

Chao Li, a resident of Phnom Penh, told The Post on January 11 that while travelling on the roads every day he noticed that heavy trucks continued to have daytime access to the city and that he’s seen traffic accidents caused by heavy trucks that left the victims paralyzed or dead.

“The management of heavy vehicles entering the municipality isn’t according to the established schedule and these trucks cause the loss of many lives as well as injuries and traffic accidents affect the economy and destroy the families of many victims,” he said.

On behalf of the people who are worried about travelling on the roads in Phnom Penh, Li requested that transport companies be obligated to take clear measures to ensure that their drivers respect traffic laws by following the speed limit and entry times set by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for urban areas.

He said that in order for the law banning heavy trucks from entry into the city during peak traffic hours would only be effective if they enforce it regularly not just intermittently or haphazardly and they must impose fines in accordance with the law without exception.

“[Hun Sen] has said in the past that what is stated in law must be enforced by officials. I would also like to encourage those who use the road to respect all traffic laws and also encourage all levels of law enforcement to strive to consistently enforce the law for the good of the motherland,” he said.

The same concern was expressed by Sok Sophat, another resident of Phnom Penh, who said that he noticed that there were still heavy trucks travelling in the city during the day and many of them were also breaking the speed limit.

“I’m worried about accidents when there are heavy trucks driving that fast on busy streets and I want to have more enforcement of the restrictions” he said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey told The Post on January 11 that the municipal authorities would continue to implement the restrictions on vehicles entering and leaving Phnom Penh from 6am to 9pm.

He said that if there were enforcement gaps and they received information from people about them then the authorities would take action.

“We didn’t loosen our hand or change our mechanisms. We are still implementing the ban but in some case there’s some negligence. Report all violations to us and we will take immediate action,” he said.

Kim Pagna, director of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation in Cambodia, said that he has not received much information on the matter but as far as he knew there wasn’t a widespread problem occurring with heavy trucks entering the city during banned hours, but authorities should heed tips like this from citizens and look into the situation.

“Trucks like cement mixers and so forth do need to be kept from entering the city during peak hours. This would be less risky to travellers,” he said.

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