Transport Minister Sun Chanthol on Monday warned that he will sack officials of truck-weighing stations who allow overloaded heavy vehicles to ply roads, leading to damage.
Speaking to reporters during the signing of an agreement with three companies tasked with improving and expanding National Road 5, Mr Chanthol noted that he has already sacked three directors over the issue, but declined to name them.
He said that he signed the sacking order because the directors were found to have allowed overloaded trucks to use the roads in exchange for money.
“This problem at truck-weighing stations is serious and affects the honour of the government and country,” Mr Chanthol said. “I signed the order to sack the three directors and I will sack more if the ministry finds they are not doing their jobs.”
He said that officials at the stations must be more vigilant and weigh the trucks precisely, adding that overloaded vehicles should not be passed in exchange for money.
“The ministry has information that in some places trucks do not even enter the weighing stations and officials wave them on in exchange for money,” Mr Chanthol noted. “Please stop this activity.”
He said that the ministry has previously replaced the directors of 15 weighing stations for being ineffective, but their replacements still followed the ways of their predecessors and let overloaded trucks ply the roads in exchange for money.
According to a recent Transport Ministry report, nearly 3,000 overloaded trucks were booked throughout the Kingdom last year, an increase of eleven percent compared to 2017.
The ministry also cracked down on 2,952 trucks and collected fines totalling about $1.4 million.
Mr Chanthol previously announced that from this year, the ministry will shutter workshops found to be modifying the vehicles to carry more goods.
“Previously the ministry only issued warning letters, but they still continue to break the law,” he said.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
In October Mr Chey said in an interview with Khmer Times that serious action should be taken against corrupt officials who allow overloaded trucks to ply roads.
“People seem to underestimate such corruption,” he said.” I think this problem is very serious because repairing damaged roads costs the government about $200 million per year.”