Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said about 360,000 vehicles are being driven without being properly inspected, while experts fined almost 20,000 people over the last three months for getting them inspected late.

Speaking during the grand opening ceremony of a vehicle inspection centre in Phnom Penh’s Kambol district on Wednesday, Chanthol called on vehicle owners to take them for check-ups on time to prevent traffic accidents and fines.

Chanthol said many people are well aware of the laws after road traffic enforcement was strengthened. He said the transport ministry sent texts to about 3,360 owners of vehicles with expired inspections. The ministry will continue to send texts to inform people to take part in reducing traffic accidents.

He said the ministry will further make efforts to find other ways to give convenient services to people. It will build more infrastructures, including stronger bridges and ports to make the transportation field more competitive. Chanthol said the improvements could lead to more job opportunities and increase peoples’ incomes.

Director-general of the General Department of Road Transport Chhuon Voun said on Thursday that for the last three months, over 80,000 of vehicles were brought in for inspections and over 20,000 were fined due to lateness.

“For fines, we are very understanding. For instance, it does not matter how many years people’s vehicles have been invalid. For family cars, we consider it only one year. For big cars, we consider it as being two years late. For cars that are less than a year late, we don’t charge for the first 30 days of lateness,” he said.

Voun added that if people still do not come to check up their vehicles, the ministry will cooperate with traffic police to enforce the law on the road. When offenders arrive at the vehicle inspection centre, they will be fined for the entirety of their overdue period.

To make it convenient for people, more vehicle inspection centres in various provinces such as Kampong Thom, Svay Rieng, Banteay Meanchey and Kampot will be built, he said.

He added that one of the main causes of traffic accidents is faulty vehicles.

“For example, vehicles with bad brakes, no lights or wheels in poor condition. Therefore, regularly inspecting vehicles will be a main contributor to reducing traffic accidents, which are still a big concern of leaders,” Chanthol said.

According to a report from the National Road Safety Committee, traffic accidents kill about five people per day and cause injuries to about 11. The main causes of accidents are human error, vehicles’ condition and roads in poor condition.