Phnom Penh authorities impounded more than 40 large lorries on Wednesday, making it 543 so far this year, for entering certain parts of the capital outside permitted hours. This follows complaints that the law was not being effectively implemented.
The Road Traffic Bureau chief at Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters, Sem Sokunthea, told The Post on Wednesday that following an order from Phnom Penh Governor Khuong Sreng and Sar Thet, the chief of the capital’s police, authorities conducted a campaign to impound the trucks of drivers who failed to obey the law.
He said the Phnom Penh administration had banned such heavy vehicles from the capital’s Daun Penh, Prampi Makara, Tuol Kork and Chamkarmon districts from 6am to 9am and from 4pm to 8pm.
“Municipal Hall has banned such trucks from those areas at such times, yet the drivers still violated the law. So now, in accordance with the law, we impound the lorries, fine the drivers and make them sign a contract."
“A driver is fined 100,000 riel ($25) and educated and instructed. We will then take heavier measures If they still violate the law,” Sokunthea said.
Lim Sokchea, the senior adviser to the Alliance for Road Safety, said the authorities should better publicise the regulations on which heavy vehicles can enter the city and when, and the penalties incurred for violating the ban.
She added that traffic laws should be strictly enforced because the first part of this year alone had seen many traffic accidents caused by large trucks in Phnom Penh, and the problem would only grow if the authorities failed to act.
“Loads of these large lorries should be transferred to smaller trucks if they must come into the city, or they should wait until nighttime or the set hours when fewer people are using the roads."
“Better still, the companies that rely on such vehicles should move their facilities to the outskirts of Phnom Penh. This is my recommendation to the authorities.”
A January report by the Traffic and Public Order Police Department of the General Commissariat of National Police found that 1,761 people were killed and 4,770 others injured in traffic accidents in Cambodia last year.
There were 3,267 traffic accidents last year – a seven per cent decrease compared with 2017. The death toll decreased by one per cent, while the number of injured decreased by 14 per cent. An average of five people was killed on the Kingdom’s roads every day, the report said.