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Officials say release of overloaded vehicles not an act of impunity

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A 15-year-old boy is severely hit by a train in Kamboul district on Sunday. KANTHA BOPHA HOSPITAL FACEBOOK

Officials say release of overloaded vehicles not an act of impunity

The 217 trucks initially impounded for one year for breaking load limits but then pardoned by Prime Minister Hun Sen have been returned to the owners, while another 12 trucks were still being processed.

Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 30 decided to return the 229 vehicles that had been impounded by the Ministry of Public Works and Transport over the past year for breaking the weight regulations. The move, he said, is to bolster Cambodia’s economic recovery efforts from the damage inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taing Pov, head of the transport ministry secretariat, told The Post on October 10 that after the decision was announced, truck owners came to fill out the forms to collect their vehicles.

He said that as of October 9, a total of 217 vehicles had been returned.

“Only [a dozen] vehicles remained because their owners are far away and some vehicles had malfunctioned. They [vehicles] had been left behind for a long time, but now the documents have already been filled out,” he said.

Pov added that authorities had not recorded new offences as business owners may not dare take risks while the law is being disseminated and enforced.

“Under the guidance of all ministry leaders, after we released the vehicles, we will not relent in cracking down on offenders, we will be twice as strict.

“And so far we have not impounded new offending vehicles as we have spread the law and believe that they will not do it again.”

Pov continued that vehicles breaking the legal limits are subject to the full force of the law, and repeat offenders face double penalties as stipulated in the law.

Kong Sovann, a public health specialist and director of the International Safety Fund Programme, said that after the release of the trucks, the transport ministry will continue to spread the law widely. He expected that from now on, law enforcement on these offences will be stricter and vehicle owners who do not learn the lesson will be severely punished without exception.

“In the meantime, the right measures are to be taken ... I believe that the ministry itself will take action against them because it is not possible to use the Covid-19 issue as an excuse,” he said.

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