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Public Transport Drivers Threatened with Harsh Penalties after Hundreds of Complaints of Reckless Driving, Overcharging and Being Impolite

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BANGKOK – The Director General of Thailand’s Department of Land Transport, Teerapol Tavornsuppacharoen told a press briefing on Saturday that many complaints were made about public transport drivers during the Songkran holidays.

He has threatened to impose the harshest penalties on public transport drivers for reckless driving, overcharging and being impolite after almost 100 complaints were lodged against them on April 12 alone.

On Friday alone, the department’s hotline 1584 received 93 complaints against drivers of public transport vehicles.

Most complaints were about reckless driving, overcharging passengers and being impolite, said Mr Teerapol.

The department was looking into the complaints and would impose the harshest penalties on drivers if found guilty.

According to the Bangkok Post, transport officials were sent to keep watch on public transport drivers at Bangkok Bus Terminal (Chatuchak) and BTS Mor Chit Skytrain station on Saturday and found two taxi drivers refusing passengers and two others using vehicles with expired registrations.

He urged people to alert land transport officials about public transport problems via the 1584 hotline around the clock.

To reduce road accidents during Songkran, officials had inspected 18,217 public buses at 195 bus terminals operating between Bangkok and the provinces to ensure the safety of passengers.

The inspections, conducted on April 12, found three buses had some flaws that could affect road safety. Bus operators had been ordered to replace defective buses with new ones, said Mr Teerapol.

The department chief has threatened to revoke licenses of van, taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers found to take advantage of passengers during Songkran.

By Thodsapol Hongtong