The government is encouraging the modernisation of heavy trucks for road safety and environmental protection in Cambodia, according to the content of the strategic plan to modernise heavy trucks 2022-2030, prepared by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

The more people travel, the more the demands on heavy trucks have been steadily increasing. The increasing number of heavy vehicles, as well as negligent driving and traffic violations, has damaged some roads in Cambodia, which presents daily challenge for the authorities, according to the ministry.

Therefore, the ministry is encouraging the implementation of the strategic plan to modernise heavy trucks 2022-2030 to ensure the sustainability of the transport sector in Cambodia.

Public works minister Sun Chanthol said the strategic plan to modernise heavy trucks was prepared by the ministry to improve the conditions of environmentally-friendly heavy goods vehicles and the transport business in Cambodia.

He said that some of the strategic goals are to encourage truck users to use newer vehicles to carry goods and to urge them to modernise their fleets of trucks to improve goods transport operations and business.

“Overweight and old lorries not only damage roads and harm the environment in the long term, but also affect traffic safety. The successful implementation of the strategic plan is a key factor to improve the implementation of national emission standards for imported vehicles, including heavy goods lorries,” he added.

Seng Chhuon, head of the Standing Committee of the Overweight Transport Inspection Steering Committee, said that in order to address and avoid overweight transport, reduce traffic road accidents and maintain the beauty of city, and to comply with technical transport standards, the implementation of this strategic plan is necessary.

Kim Pagna, country director of Asia Injury Prevention Foundation (AIP), said that overweight lorries could cause traffic accidents and damage roads, noting that every year traffic accidents already cost Cambodia hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to the ministry, in the first nine months of the year, officials had carried out inspections of a total of 2,579,260 trucks, of which 844, 579, or 32.74 per cent, were overweight and 2,470 severely overweight trucks had fines imposed on them.

In order for the strategic plan to be implemented successfully, the commitment of the public and private sectors, including relevant ministries and institutions and transport business operations, is needed, said Chanthol.