A drunken man who drove his car onto railway tracks in the early hours of Monday morning is facing hefty fines and police charges, after his antics caused train delays of almost two hours.
A drunk man who drove his car onto the railway is facing fines and police charges, after causing train delays of almost two hours. (Photo from facebook.com/ThaiPBSFan)
Pol Lt Col Vinit Saengsila, an investigator from Makkasan police station, said driver Korakot Rakwongpat has been charged on three counts. The 24-year-old driver will be fined 1,000 baht for reckless driving, 500 baht for driving a car with a red license plate at night and another 20,000 baht for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The State Railway of Thailand also said it plans to make the man pay for damages to the track and fence.
Red number plates are temporary. Vehicles bearing such plates are not allowed to drive on the streets at night.
At 5.45am Monday, Traffic radio Jor Sor 100 reported that six men, believed to be intoxicated, had been seen driving a brand new Honda CRV on the rail tracks at Rong Poon intersection, to the back of Petcharavej hospital on Phetchaburi Road.
The car became stuck, so a rescue team of more than 20 men were called in to move the car off the tracks. They spent about two hours trying to move the vehicle, but were unsuccessful. They eventually instructed the driver go backwards along the rails to the spot where he first entered the tracks.
Mr Korakot told police that he and his friends had been to a nightclub at RCA and then to get some food, before the accident occurred on their drive home to Phasi Charoen district in Thon Buri.
He initially claimed that he had been lost and decided to drive on the tracks believing it would lead him to an exit that he might recognise. Police tested him for alcohol and found he had consumed far more than the legal limit.
The incident delayed an empty train due to begin collect passengers at Makkasan train station for one hour and 47 minutes. Other trains were also affected, the SRT said.
SRT governor Prapas Chongsanguan said the organisation is assessing the damage caused by the incident before charging the man for compensation.
The railway agency earlier warned that it planned to charge Mr Korakot 800 baht per minute for the delay, or around 85,600 baht, based on the average fares of passengers affected by the delay and the damage to almost 400m of rail track.
Mr Prapas later said the driver and five other passengers would be fined only for the damaged tracks and fence.
They will not be charged for the train delay because the situation was resolved within three hours, said the governor, citing railway regulations.