Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - One-third of 2.5 million vehicles checked in first nine months of year overloaded

One-third of 2.5 million vehicles checked in first nine months of year overloaded

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Public works ministry officers check overloaded trucks. PUBLIC WORKS MINISTRY

One-third of 2.5 million vehicles checked in first nine months of year overloaded

Authorities stopped more than 2.5 million vehicles suspected of being overloaded in the first nine months of this year, with 265 trucks impounded for one year and nearly 2,500 drivers fined.

According to a report from the Committee for the Inspection of Overloaded Trucks, 32.74 per cent of the 2,579,260 vehicles inspected – some 844,578 – were overloaded.

The report was presented at a meeting attended by Seng Chhuon, secretary of state at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, on October 17 to review the results of the first nine months of 2022.

Taing Pov, head of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretariat, told The Post on October 18 that the 265 vehicles impounded were all overloaded heavy trucks, most of which were carrying sand or aggregate, as well as other construction materials such as concrete.

“Vehicles 20 per cent overloaded are impounded for one year. When they are overloaded like this, the trucks are impounded for a year because they badly damage the roads.

“Car owners who understand the law but overload do so because they want to save on transportation costs,” he said.

He called for an end to overloading as officials continue to reach out and advise the general public, private vehicle owners and the owners of transport businesses and aggregate and sand depots as to the law.

He called on all road users to be more aware of the legal standards for loading vehicles, particularly Articles 60 and 26 of the Road Law, which stipulate the punishments for overloading.

“I ask all road users to abide by the law because, in rainy season especially, overloaded vehicles tear up the roads and damage infrastructure,” he said.

Kim Panha, director of the Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation, supported the action of the competent authorities, which were taking a number of measures.

However, he urged the Ministry of Public Works to call for a meeting with representatives of transport companies to finally resolve the issues as well as to provide guidance on the transportation of goods and materials.

“Overloading carries a high risk of causing accidents and is especially damaging to roads. If a company refuses to follow the rules, its licence must be withdrawn for safety and as a warning to others,” Panha said.

For inspecting overloaded trucks, the committee has put into operation a further four dynamic weigh stations equipped with security cameras.

The committee is strengthening inspections with the construction of new weigh stations with high-tech networks to the ministry and the renovation of older stations.

According to Article 60 of the Road Law, the users of heavy vehicles transporting goods that have not been weighed at a weigh station on the road network will be fined 500,000 riel.

A driver whose load does not exceed five per cent of the weight limit will receive a written warning.

Trucks overloaded by five to 10 per cent of the weight limit will have the goods removed and the vehicle will be impounded for 10 days, with the driver fined 100,000 riel per tonne over the limit.

For loads more than 10-20 per cent over the limit, the goods will be removed and the vehicle will be impounded for one month, with the driver incurring a fine of 200,000 riel per tonne over the limit.

Overloading by more than 20 per cent of the weight limit will result in the goods being removed and the vehicle impounded for one year, with a fine of 300,000 riel per tonne over the limit.

For overloading beyond the upper limit, the fine will increase accordingly and the driver’s licence will be suspended for two years.

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