Vans drivers protest new safe speed limit

Vans drivers protest new safe speed limit

Operators claiming to control 100,000 chartered vans nationwide gather at the complaints centre at Government House to petition the government against its measures to put chartered vans under the same tough regulations governing public vans. (Photo Chanat Katanyu); Inset: two recent high-profile accidents involving foreign tourists and chartered van or taxi services.
Operators claiming to control 100,000 chartered vans nationwide gather at the complaints centre at Government House to petition the government against its measures to put chartered vans under the same tough regulations governing public vans. (Photo Chanat Katanyu); Inset: two recent high-profile accidents involving foreign tourists and chartered van or taxi services.

New safety rules hurting business, say van drivers, so they want to make their own rules that include exemption from new speed limit & no GPS devices to monitor safety compliance.


Van drivers protest new safe speed limit law

Amornrat Mahitthirook

Operators of chartered van services (vans for hire) are calling on the government to enact a new law that would allow them to exclusively govern their own operations.

Because they are put in the same category as public vans, charted van operators are required to follow a new set of safety rules and regulations.

The new rules include the requirement that public vans:

1. Install a special GPS device to monitor speeds,

2. Drive according to the new safe speed limit of 90 kilometers per hour,

3. Drive in the left lane, and...

4. Adhere to special rules on drivers' working hours and parking.

The new rules are due to be fully enforced by the end of the year.


The chartered vans are more like limousine or taxi services and should not be restrained by the new speed limit of 90 km/hr that passenger vans or buses stay under while driving, according to Yutthana Intrayuth, representative of the chartered van drivers group,

He also called for leniency on the speed limit rule until a new law is enforced.

"VIP vans cannot limit their hours of operation like passenger buses because they don't operate on fixed routes."

"The speed limit should also be flexible," Mr Yutthana said.


A whole South Korean family with five family members aged 41 to 5 years of age were seriously injured when the driver of a chartered van en route to Suvarnabhumi airport lost control, overturned and hit a tree in Phetchaburi province this week.

Two people had to be cut free from the wreckage.

The driver blamed a car that cut in front of him causing him to lose control. He was taking the Koreans from Hua Hin to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Although there was apparently no GPS device in the van to ascertain his exact speed at the time of the accident, driving at higher speeds in general makes it more difficult to control a vehicle when unexpected events such as cars cutting in front happen (Source: Thaivisa here).
In a similar recent accident, a taxi driver fell asleep, drove into a lamp post and killed a Danish tourist inside. Long work hours, regulated under the new laws, are a common cause of falling asleep at the wheel (see here).


There are more than 100,000 chartered vans across the country with half of them operating in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces.

Yutthana Intrayuth, representative of the van driver's group, said the new rules are hurting the chartered van service, which is popular and used for business trips and tourism purposes.

Chartered van companies ply non-fixed routes, so they should not be subject to the same rules that govern public services, he said.

A petition seeking amendments to the Land Transport Act has been submitted to the government and the Transport Ministry.

A copy of the petition will be forwarded to the National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

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  • according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
  • Act: a law passed by a country’s government - กฎหมาย
  • amendment: a change made to a law or agreement, in this case, to the constitution - การแก้ไขกฎหมาย ในที่นี้หมายถึงการแก้ไขรัฐธรรมนูญ
  • ascertain: to discover; to make certain - สืบให้แน่ใจ
  • blame: to say or think that someone or something did something wrong or is responsible for something bad happening - ตำหนิ
  • calling on: requesting or asking someone to do something - ขอ, ขอร้อง, เรียกร้อง
  • category: a group of people or things that have similar qualities - หมวดหมู่ ประเภท
  • chartered: hired especially for the use of a particular group - เช่าเหมาลำ
  • common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา
  • device (noun): a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job - อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร
  • due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
  • en route: on the way; bound for; while travelling from/to a particular place - มุ่งหน้าไป, ระหว่างทางไปถึงจุดหมายปลายทาง
  • enact: to pass into law - ออกกฎหมาย
  • enforce : to make sure laws are obeyed - บังคับให้ใช้, บังคับให้ทำ, ใช้กำลังบังคับให้ปฏิบัติตาม
  • exclusively: only used by or intended for one particular person or group; only given to one particular person or group - เฉพาะ, แต่ผู้เดียว
  • family member (noun): a person who is part of a family -
  • fixed (adj): not changing - ที่ตายตัว, ที่ไม่สามารถเปลี่ยนแปลง,
  • flexible: able to change to suit new conditions or situations - เปลี่ยนแปลงได้,แก้ได้
  • forward: to send onwards - ส่งต่อ
  • govern: to control the way that things happen - ควบคุม, บังคับ, ครอบงำ
  • GPS: global positioning system (a system by which signals are sent from satellites to a special device, used to show the position of a person or thing on the surface of the earth very accurately) - จีพีเอส (ระบบกำหนดตำแหน่งบนโลก)
  • hire: rent; to pay money for the use of something for a period of time - เช่า
  • hurt: damage; to harm or spoil something/somebody ทำความเสียหาย -
  • in general: including the most important aspects of something; not exact or detailed; overall - โดยทั่วไป
  • injured (adj): hurt in an accident, natural disaster, attack, etc. - ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
  • install: to put a piece of equipment somewhere and make it ready for use - ติดตั้ง
  • land transport: the moving of people and things between places using trucks, buses and other vehicles over roads -
  • leniency (noun): a situation where someone is not as strict as expected when punishing somebody or when making sure that rules are obeyed - ความผ่อนผัน,ความกรุณาปรานี,ความโอนอ่อน
  • monitor: keep track of - ตรวจ, ติดตาม, เฝ้าสังเกต
  • neighbouring: located or living near or next to a place or person - ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง
  • operations: the activity or work done in an area of business or industry - ปฎิบัติการ
  • operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • overturn: to turn upside down or on the side - พลิกคว่ำ, คว่ำลง
  • parking: a place where motor vehicles, aircraft, etc. are parked - ลานจอด
  • passenger: someone who travels in a motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or ship but is not the driver or one of the people who works on it - ผู้โดยสาร
  • petition: a document signed by a large number of people demanding or requesting some action from the government or another authority - การถวายฎีกา,การร้องเรียน
  • ply (verb): to make a regular journey over a particular area or route - เดินสาย วิ่งไปมา
  • provinces (noun): the many divisions of the government of a country into smaller parts - จังหวัด
  • public: open to people in general - สาธารณะ
  • recent: happening or starting a short time ago - เร็วๆ นี้
  • regulate: to control an activity officially - ควบคุม
  • regulations: official rules that control the way that things are done - ระเบียบปฏิบัติ
  • representative: someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน
  • require: to make somebody do or have something, especially because it is necessary according to a particular law or set of rules - บังคับใช้ (กฎหมาย) กำหนด
  • restrain: to stop somebody/something from doing something, often, but not always, by using physical force - กักขัง, ยับยั้ง, จำกัด
  • route: the roads used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง
  • similar: like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน
  • subject to: affected by - ภายใต้บังคับ (กฎหมาย)
  • submitted (verb): formally given to someone, usually, but not always, so that they can make a decision about it - ยื่น
  • wreckage: the parts of a vehicle or building that remain after it has been severely damaged - ซากตึกบ้านเรือนที่ถูกทำลาย
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