The Ministry of Public Works and Transport has partnered with a private company to create a heavy truck driving training centre as a response to a lack of professional drivers causing too many accidents.
General Department of Road Transport director-general Chhuon Vorn told The Post on November 17 the ministry used to have such a training facility, but it was closed years ago.
He said the ministry is cooperating with Kamtranship Co Ltd to create and operate the centre, which will be the only one of its kind in the country. The centre will be located on National Road 5 at Kilometre 15 in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district. Kamtranship is known for producing vehicle licence plates.
“This centre is being created to follow international standards. There is a proper site and qualified and specific training,” he said.
Vorn said Cambodia lacks qualified heavy truck drivers. There are more than 300,000 heavy trucks registered at the ministry but only 180,000 drivers with the proper driving certificate.
To compare, there are about 700,000 to 800,000 cars in the country and more than one million licensed drivers. Normally, there should be more licences than vehicles listed, he said.
Vorn added the centre is almost 90 per cent complete and plans to start operating officially early next year. The ministry expects the centre will reduce traffic accidents caused by heavy truck drivers.
Cambodia Bus Association (CAMBA) president Chhim Chamnan supported the opening of the centre. He said companies need drivers with specific skills who understand traffic laws.
In the past, he said, most drivers learned to drive from one another, which he said was the main cause of traffic accidents.
“Most heavy truck drivers do not know and understand the law clearly. They got their driving licences with abnormality [corruption] and learned from each other. Another important point is that Cambodia lacks drivers. The company just accepts them to work as long as they have driving certificates,” he said, adding the centre will help solve these issues.
He said as long as a certificate is issued by this centre, his association and other companies will no longer need to be concerned. The demand for drivers in Cambodia increases by the day, he said.
Sok Chheang, president of the Cambodia Trucking Association (CAMTA), applauded the creation of the centre.
He said CAMTA has requested such a centre for many years as the country still lacks professional heavy truck drivers.
“There are many drivers, but professional drivers with understanding of driving according to types of certificate are rare. Some get fake driving licences without passing school.
“I support the creation of this centre to encourage more participation in skills training. It is to ensure drivers follow traffic laws and reduce accidents in the country,” he said.