CHIANG RAI – The Royal Thai Police have reported they will impose a total ban on water splashing on main and secondary roads throughout the country during the seven-day Songkran festival from April 11-17 to ensure road safety for revelers and other motorists.
Pol Gen Srivara Ransibrahmanakul, the deputy national police chief, said Wednesday (March 21) that police would coordinate with local administrators to designate zones where revelers can enjoy water splashing safely and devoid of all kinds of alcohol.
He said that police would strictly enforce alcohol control law by banning all alcoholic drinks in the zones designated for water festival.
Any shops located in the designated zones which are found selling alcohols will be strictly dealt with, he warned, adding that police would also check alcohol drinking by youths under 20.
Traffic police throughout the country have been instructed to facilitate travelling by revelers by opening up more traffic lanes for out-bound traffic during the start of the festival as revelers flock out of cities for their destinations. The same measure will also be applied on the way back for in-bound traffic at the end of the festival.
Pol Gen Srivara said he expected more people would travel this year than the previous years and there would be more traffic especially on the northeastern-bound route, the Friendship highway.
Police, from now on, will meet every week to update their information and progress of work to facilitate traffic flow, he added.
Travelling on pickup trucks which are a popular means of travel, the deputy police chief said police would warn drivers to exercise caution when there are passengers riding on the back of the vehicles.
But legal action will be meted out against drivers of pickup trucks who drive in a dangerous way which may result in an accident.
Overall, police will strictly enforce laws on the following driving behaviors: speeding, jumping traffic lights, not putting on seat belts, driving without a license, overtaking another car in a tight spot, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving in the opposite direction of the traffic, not wearing crash helmets for motorcyclists and pillion riders and using mobile phones while driving or riding motorcycles.