Road safety advocates are calling on police to enforce road safety regulations more strictly. The call comes after 13 students were killed Sunday morning. They were riding in the back of a pickup that crashed and overturned.
Nikorn Chamnong, a member of the transport committee, said police should not hesitate to enforce road rules. “Officers must pay extra attention,when they spot risky driver behavior” he said.
“If they see too many people in the back of a pickup, they should stop the vehicle right away.” Especially if the vehicle is exceeding the speed limit.
Students were Pilled into Back of the Speeding Pickup
Early Sunday morning, a pickup truck carrying 18 people overturned in Samut Prakan. Killing 13 students from a technical college in Si Sa Ket. The driver and four others were seriously wounded, police said.
Pol Lt Col Samran Chuaythao, a Bang Kaew police officer, said the accident occurred about 1am.
A taxi driver who witnessed the accident told police he saw a pickup truck turn onto the main Road at high speed.
“As it prepared to switch lanes, the pickup suddenly skidded off the road onto the sidewalk. Ramming two roadside power poles before overturning,” said the driver.
Twelve students who were riding on the back of the pickup truck were thrown onto the road and killed instantly.
Five other passengers sitting inside the vehicle were seriously injured, one died at the hospital later.
Mr Nikorn said existing laws actually prohibit passengers from riding at the back of pickup trucks.
“However, many officers often hesitate to enforce the law,” he said. He went on to blame the lack of efficient public transportation networks, is why police won’t do their job.
Mr Nikorn urged officers to follow the “middle path” when enforcing the law.
Saying that a maximum of six people should is allowed to sit in the back of the truck. Having too many passengers at the rear also affects the truck’s center of gravity and handling.
“They must not sit on the edge and the driver must limit the truck’s speed.
Law Banning Riding in the Back of Pickup Rescinded
The Government tried in 2016 to ban people from riding on the back of pickup trucks. Especially during long holidays such as New Years’ Day and Songkran. However the ban was then revised to allow a maximum of six people in the back, following a widespread backlash.
Deputy police spokesman Kissana Phathanacharoen told the Bangkok Post police are accused of preying on travellers whenever they try to enforce the law.
A police investigation revealed that most of the 17 victims were students of Si Sa Ket Technical College. Many were about to graduate and were also celebrating heavily after a job training exercise.
They had been participating in a job training exercise at a garage called Patara Body Service heading home.