An overloaded truck’s owner was ordered to pay 7.8 million riel ($1,917) in fines yesterday after his driver was caught with 61 tonnes of wood in his truck, 26 tonnes above the legal limit.
Officers at a Prey Veng weighing station got suspicious yesterday when the overloaded truck bypassed it.
“The truck is loaded with wood for house construction,” said Un Sothea, the deputy director for the Prey Veng public works and transportation department. “We chased it about 5 kilometres, ordering it to return.”
Last week, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol threatened to introduce tough new measures, including fines, for officials who turn a blind eye to overloaded vehicles, which he claimed cause $100 million in road damage per year.
The cargo was stamped as legal timber, but officials said they do not know whether forestry officials had inspected the truck or allowed it to move out with such a heavy overload.
After yesterday’s stop, officials made the truck driver offload some of the wood onto another truck to comply with the limits.
The truck owner, Chen Mesabot, also had to thumbprint a document promising not to repeat the violation.
Minister of Interior and National Road Safety Committee head Sar Kheng in March called for authorities at all levels to be more vigilant in regulating overloaded trucks.