Tougher drink drive law on way

Tougher drink drive law on way

If the prime minister gets his way, any passengers riding with a drunk driver will be arrested and prosecuted just as if they were actually driving. (File photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
If the prime minister gets his way, any passengers riding with a drunk driver will be arrested and prosecuted just as if they were actually driving. (File photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

The government is studying the possibility of adopting a law where passengers travelling in the same car as a driver found guilty of driving under the influence also face charges associated with the driver's drink-driving offences.

After discussing the matter at Tuesday's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha ordered officials to find out if such a law could be adopted in Thailand, as it has been elsewhere, said Deputy Transport Minister Ormsin Chivapruck. The ministry brought up the matter as it reported on law changes it is proposing.

The PM also wanted the ministry to look into the possibility of lowering city driving speeds and stepping up punishments for speeding, Mr Ormsin said.

The ministry has amended the law to make the issuing of licences more difficult but their suspension easier, to allow revocation of a licence for personal cars, and increase punishment for people driving without a licence, he said.

Two points in the law regarding driving licences for public vehicles had also been amended, Mr Ormsin said.

Additional conditions were added to applications for a transport business driving licence to improve safety, while the law governing compensation for people affected by accidents associated with drivers holding a public driving licence has also been tweaked, he said.

Under another change, all passengers in a car must fasten their seat belts, he said.

Regarding the licensing system regulating public transport, the Department of Land Transport now requires all public cars and tow trucks registered before January to be installed with the global positioning system (GPS), he said.

Those registered from Jan 1 onward must have GPS by the end of 2019, he said. The department was setting up centres for managing GPS installation in Bangkok and the other regions.

The introduction of new-look licences made of plastic with a magnetic stripe and compatible with GPS is expected in the second quarter of next year at a cost of 533 million baht, he said. The funding will come from the Road Safety Fund.


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