In the first 11 months of this year, the Ministry of Public Works and Transport inspected more than 2.3 million vehicles, of which more than 700,000 were found to be overloaded, with 2,803 vehicles fined for overloading to a level that was deemed unsafe.

Ministry secretary of state Seng Chhuon released the figures during a meeting last week with relevant officials and the directors of weighing stations located in the capital as well as provincial weighing stations across the country to review the results of their inspection programme.

“The team will continue to enforce the law and prevent overloaded vehicles from transporting goods on Cambodia’s roads without exception,” he said.

By preventing overloading, the government aims to reduce traffic accidents and protect the Kingdom’s roads which tend to wear out very quickly with overloaded vehicles driving on them.

The officials will continue their campaign to educate vehicle owners, transport businesses, quarries, sand depots and pits and the general public about the legal standards and rationale behind the banning of overweight vehicles on the nation’s roads, according to Chhuon.

The laws and legal regulations regarding overloading of vehicles are stated in articles 26 and 60 of the Law on Road Traffic, and in Prakas 49 on the enforcement of additional measures on heavy vehicles, he said.

Chhuon said the ministry will continue to install additional traffic monitoring cameras and expand its use of artificial intelligence in conjunction with weight and motion sensors at the busiest stations to better track and monitor the vehicles on the road and the performance of the officials at those stations.

Two new weighing stations along National Road 33 in Kep province and National Road 62 in Preah Vihear province are scheduled for installation and the ministry also plans to build new weighing stations in Mondulkiri and Koh Kong provinces in 2022, he said.

Kim Panga, country director for the Asian Injury Prevention Foundation, said that in addition to raising awareness about the laws on overloading, the government should also require transport companies to equip their trucks with GPS in order for the government to be able to track down the vehicles that are known to be violating the law after detection through automated surveillance systems.

Additionally, he said, if the violation of the law is a serious one, then the authorities should revoke the transport or business licence from the guilty companies, first temporarily and then on a permanent basis for repeat offenders.

“Also, the amount of the fines levied should be increased in order to deter the companies and their drivers from taking a risk by violating the law,” he said, adding that more CCTV cameras should be installed on important roads.