Police praise automatic speed cameras
Police have started using automatic speed cameras in Bangkok to support their efforts in cracking down on rogue motorists.
Officers aim to decrease the frequency of quarrels between police and motorists over speeding violations.
On the first day following their launch, about 300 offenders were caught by cameras on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.
Wrongdoers caught by the cameras, which can record video footage and still photos, will be given electronic tickets which will be sent to their homes, Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy chief Jirapat Phumjit said Wednesday.
Those who do not report to pay their fine within seven days will be given a warning to pay up within 30 days or they will be blacklisted for vehicle licence and insurance renewals, he said.
He said Wednesday's 300 wrongdoers were caught by cameras only on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, but many more violators are expected to be nabbed in other parts of the capital.
Under the new measures, the mobile cameras can detect motorists committing various traffic violations, in both cars and motorcycles, such as driving in the wrong lane, cutting in front of traffic to go on a flyover, driving on footpaths, street racing and speeding.
Fourteen high-tech cameras were used on the first day to better serve as the police's "eyes" on Bangkok's streets. Five of them are being used by the Traffic Police Division, which oversees overall traffic in the capital while the rest have been given to Metropolitan Police divisions 1-9 which cover the whole city.
Pol Maj Gen Jirapat declined to reveal where the cameras would be located so as not to alert motorists.
Wednesday's list of wrongdoers will allow police to easily assess traffic violations in the Vibhavadi Rangsit area. Most violators broke speed limits while many motorcyclists where caught riding in the "express lanes" on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Pol Maj Gen Jirapat said. By law, riders are allowed only to use smaller roads which run in parallel to the wider express lanes in the middle of Vibhavadi Rangsit Road.
Other offences included motorcyclists riding on footpaths, he said.
With the help of the cameras, "we're confident we can curb traffic violations and also avoid quarrels between officers and the public", he said.
He said arguments with motorists are "a new worry" for police officers.
Earlier this month a video clip showing a traffic policeman arguing with a driver, went viral online.