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Preah Sihanouk on the hunt for drugged and drunk truckers

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Traffic police inspect trucks along National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk province last month. FN

Preah Sihanouk on the hunt for drugged and drunk truckers

Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun has ordered the police force to regularly test drivers – especially those operating heavy vehicles – to ensure they are not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This request was made to reduce the risk of traffic accidents, according to provincial police chief Chuon Narin.

Narin told The Post that Chamroeun visited the traffic police on March 3 and ordered them to target under-the-influence drivers.

He said the police force have been patrolling day and night and checking drivers since February 24. His forces regularly mounted inspections at three busy locations in a bid to catch those who attempt to drive while inebriated.

“We inspect all the vehicles, especially heavy ones, that we suspect could cause accidents. We also carry out mechanical checks to ensure that the vehicles are roadworthy. In addition, spot check drug testing is carried out,” he said.

Narin said if the police find that drivers appears to have taken only a low dose of drugs, they would stop them from driving and advise their family to seek rehabilitation for them.

“We have zero tolerance for drivers who are serious drug addicts. In serious cases, they will certainly face charges. If we ascertain that drivers are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, even if they do not appear to be a hazard on the road, action will be taken,” he added.

He said that since the police had instigated their checkpoints, drivers had demonstrated better behaviour on the roads.

He urged people to respect the law rather than fearing the police, and also suggestd that companies monitor the condition of both their vehicles and drivers.

“We want people to respect the traffic law. Respect for the law shows that citizens respect one another, as well as their own lives. If people obey the road rules, it also contributes to poverty reduction in our country,” he added.

Y Sokha, deputy provincial police chief in charge of traffic, said police had discovered two male truck drivers who used drugs. They were temporarily detained and reprimanded. Due to their family difficulties, Chamroeun compassionately released them into the custody of their families, with a promise that they would educate themselves on the dangers of drugs.

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