Police to pounce on public passenger vans

Bangkok police will renew efforts to bring public passenger vans into line after a surge in complaints about widespread violations of traffic rules that worsen traffic congestion in the city, according to a Thai Rath report on Sunday.

  • Published: 3/02/2013 at 04:53 PM
  • Newspaper section: topstories

The crackdown will  start on Monday, the report said, quoting Pol Maj Gen Piya Tawichai, chief of the Police Traffic Division.

The officer said police had received complaints that many drivers of unregistered vans illegally parked and ate up traffic lanes at bus stops as well as picked up and dropped off passengers outside designated stops. This caused traffic problems to be more severe in the highly congested areas of the city.

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This photo shows the congested Phahon Yothin road on Jan 21, 2013. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Pol Maj Gen Piya said police would strictly implement traffic laws and take legal action against the public passenger van operators, concentrating on six main offences:

1. Operating a passenger van without a public service vehicle operator licence. A maximum jail term of two years and a fine of up to 40,000 baht.  

2. Stopping at designated parking spots. A maximum fine of 5,000 baht.

3. Doubling parking or parking in a manner that blocks or impedes travel on a roadway. A maximum fine of 500 baht.

4. Carrying excessive numbers of passengers. A maximum fine of 5,000 baht.  

5. Failing to pay annual vehicle tax or renewing the Protection for Motor Vehicle Accident Victims Act 1992 certificate. A maximum fine of 5,000 baht.

6. Operating an unregistered van (the so-called black plate van). A maximum jail term of five years or a fine of 20,000-100,000 baht. 

Operators violating the six traffic laws must immediately correct them, Pol Maj Gen Piya said.

Many internet users have expressed frustration over the problem via online discussion boards, calling on police to immediately curb traffic violations by public vans and taxis at Victory Monument and BTS station near Mor Chit bus terminal.

“Better do it quick in front of CentralWorld shopping complex too. There are ‘no parking signs’ all over the place but it seems anyone can park freely there,” said a poster on Pantip.com.

“Thank you police. But I hope you will do it seriously every day and everywhere in Bangkok,” said another poster.

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