Overweight Big Rigs Won’t Keep on Truckin’

The Council of Ministers on Friday approved a sub-decree that will limit the weight of transport trucks to stop further damage to the country’s crumbling highways.

Council of Ministers Spokes­person Penn Thol said the measure is designed to protect roads and bridges as well as reduce the number of traffic accidents.

Penn Thol said that trucks that exceed the weight limit by 5 to 10 percent will be fined 100,000 riel ($25). Trucks that are more than 10 percent over the limit will be fined $25 per ton. Offenders will not be allowed to proceed until the fine is paid and excess cargo removed at the company’s expense, he said.

The weight limit will vary, depending on the type of truck.

The Ministry of Public Works and Transport last month began using five vehicle scales on National Route 6 between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap town and National Route 7 between the capital to Stung Treng, said transportation Gener­al Director Chhum Sok­hom.

The move was prompted in part by complaints from the Japanese construction company that has been rehabilitating Route 6. “The company said the overweight trucks were damaging the quality of the new road,” Chhum Sokhom explained.

So far, said Chhum Sokhom, he believes the new weigh stations have been successful, noting that fewer overweight trucks are now being caught.

But he acknowledged it is impossible to stop the problem completely as truck drivers drive at night to evade police. Roving inspection teams and stronger enforcement are also needed to enforce the regulations, he said.

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