Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said the case of 229 heavy trucks that had violated the law and would be released following an order from Prime Minister Hun Sen was unprecedented, but he reiterated that truck owners must cease overloading trucks as authorities would no longer be lenient.

Speaking at a press conference on the progress of clampdown on and prevention of overloaded trucks, Chanthol said: “It is to strengthen law enforcement and to disseminate the law to transport companies and drivers of heavy trucks who violate the law to stop committing this offence. Samdech Techo Hun Sen also instructed us to stop being lenient,” he said.

He called on the public to respect the law and work with the government to protect national property. He said overloaded trucks damaged roads and caused traffic accidents.

The heavy trucks will be released from October 1-18, once owners have paid the fine.

“For the trucks that have been impounded, the owners must pay the fine before October 18. If they fail to pay, the trucks will be impounded further,” he said, adding that when owners come to retrieve their trucks, they have to sign a letter promising not to repeat the offence.

Chanthol said the ministry has yet to implement an automatic system to trace vehicles that have repeatedly violated the law which would lead to the suspension of driving licences. But the ministry is developing an app for a working group to oversee trucks exceeding load limits.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 28 announced the release of the lorries that were slated to be impounded for one year for violating the law governing load weight limits

The trucks were seized by officials at permanent weighing stations and mobile units.