CHIANG RAI – Thailand’s Deputy National Police Chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul said police will strictly enforce the law to improve road safety during the New Year holidays.
Pol Gen Srivara supervises a Royal Thai Police panel looking at measures to improve traffic flow and prevent road accidents nationwide during the New Year long weekend.
The main targets during the holiday break are drink drivers. More road blocks will be set up to examine vehicles and check drivers.
In the lead-up to and during the New Year holidays, traveling in the bed of a pick-up truck is allowed as long as it is not a danger to road safety.
Checkpoints will be manned by police and soldiers in busy traffic areas. Vehicles driven by drunk drivers will be seized by the authorities and handed back to their owners after the holiday is over.
In Bangkok, Pol Gen Srivara said a measure will be in place requiring motorcycle drivers to wear crash helmets starting from Dec 28.
Before the measure is introduced, however, there will be a publicity campaign to make motorists aware about it.
Motorcycle drivers caught not wearing a crash helmet will be warned and their bikes will be impounded. The motorcycles will be held and only returned when the drivers show police they have obtained a helmet. Such a measure is stated clearly in a law introduced in 1979.
Pol Gen Srivara said the measure would not give the police an opportunity to exploit people for ill-gotten gains.
The deputy national police added that there have been no complaints yet about new-look tickets now being issued to traffic violators. They were introduced yesterday.
The new tickets contain a bar-code for easy payment of the fine as well as an English translation of the text. Old tickets have been cancelled and police still using them will be subject to legal action, Pol Gen Srivara said.
The bar-code traffic tickets started being issued yesterday initially in the jurisdictions of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) and Provincial Police Regions 1, 2 and 7, covering the Central Plains, East and western Central Plains respectively, according to police deputy spokesman Krissana Pattanacharoen.
During an early period, tickets will be issued for traffic offences in which officers do not seize an offender’s license, such as parking vehicles in no-parking zones or places that obstruct traffic.
When officers begin to seizing driving licenses and issue tickets, offenders still need to pay the fines at police stations or in designated areas within seven days, in line with the Land Traffic Act, Pol Col Krissana said.
Meanwhile, MPB chief Pol Lt Gen Chantape Sesavej said yesterday there were no areas considered security risks areas during the New Year holidays. Police are continuing to work with the military intelligence agency in assessing the security situation during the New Year, he said.
More police will direct traffic starting from Dec 28 when the New Year city exodus is expected to begin.