Nearly 30,000 freight vehicles were found to violate technical standards last year, resulting in fines totalling more than 6.1 billion riel ($1.5 million), said the Ministry of Public Works and Transport’s 2018 Annual Report released on Wednesday.
The report said the ministry stopped and checked 277,142 vehicles last year. Among the violations were 3,060 trucks that were illegally altered to increase their size or capacity; 484 trucks without number plates and 3,040 trucks that failed to comply with safety regulations.
There were also 565 trucks with lights that failed to meet safety standards; 5,481 trucks without legal documents; 1,076 drivers without licences; and 1,013 drivers with the wrong type of driving licence.
In addition, a total of 3,135 vehicle repair garages were examined, with 870 of them found to be operating illegally.
Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol warned that this year will see a crackdown on businesses operating without licences.
“To prevent illegal size adjustments to vehicles, the ministry will close down all companies that alter vehicles without proper licences. The ministry will provide an online system to track companies whose vehicles exceed the maximum weight and were adjusted to no longer comply with the standards procedures,” he said.
Cambodia Freight Forwarders Association president Sin Chanthy said he supported the ministry’s action. He said the Cambodian freight sector faces challenges posed by long distances between ports and product destinations, combined with poor road conditions in the Kingdom.
As a solution, he urged the government to speed up highway construction between Preah Sihanouk province and Phnom Penh.
“Our transportation has improved a lot, but there is still a problem with small roads. I want to have a dialogue with all parties to find solutions that are profitable for both the government and the private sector,” he said.
Institute for Road Safety founding director Ear Chariya told The Post on Wednesday that officials have said they will clamp down on dangerous or illegally adjusted vehicles many times, but corruption and lax enforcement of the law prevent any significant changes from occurring.
“If this action is to be effective, government officers must strictly enforce the laws. The officials must have the social impact and legal aspect of these laws explained to them."
“The ministry should also talk with freight shipping companies and open training courses to train drivers so they have proper knowledge, skills and moral discipline over safety issues. The government should tell people to follow traffic laws and respect the rights of other people,” he said.