22.1 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
22.1 C
Brunei
Thursday, February 9, 2023
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    Harsh punishments to keep overloaded lorries off the road

    Overloaded lorries have been a blow to our roads by leaving trails of destruction in the form of potholes and cracks.

    One study found that a truck can cause the same amount of damage to a road as approximately 9,600 cars. However, one truck overloaded by 20 per cent can cause the same damage as 19,000 cars.

    The fact that overloading has topped the offence list among heavy vehicles in recent years is proof of its destruction to our roads.

    I believe the current law is no longer sufficient in deterring repeat offenders, given how paltry the fines are – between BND50-500. It is high time for hefty punishments.

    I would like to call on the compound to be revised up to BND3,000 for first-time offenders; BND5,000 with the truck impounded for three months for second-time offenders; BND8,000 fine, six-month jail term and the vehicle impounded for a year for third-time offenders.

    Detractors would say the revised penalties could potentially raise the cost of operations.

    However, the millions of dollars spent on road repairs should be taken into consideration.

    There is also the need to step up enforcement efforts to catch and punish those who continue to flaunt the rules. Perhaps the authority could consider installing or improving weighing stations across checkpoints along major roads and border control posts for more effective monitoring.

    We need to safeguard our roads from overloaded heavy vehicles. And I believe the only way to do so is to impose harsher penalties on the offenders.

    Munshi Bruneian

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