Traffic cops launch new hi-tech spies
Lane-change violators face tough time ahead, they say
New surveillance cameras caught 750 motorists in a matter of hours illegally changing lanes in 15 locations in Bangkok despite warning signs, police said Wednesday.
Police on Wednesday started recording cars which changed lanes at prohibited spots, mostly near flyovers, in a fresh move to reduce road accidents and better regulate traffic flow.
Between midnight and 11.30am, the cameras sent vehicle information, including registration numbers, to the traffic control centre for the issuing of tickets, traffic police said.
Many violators are the same "old faces" and their excuses are predictable, said deputy Traffic Police Division chief Pol Col Kitti Ariyanon.
They will range from an emergency or not realising they were breaking the law, he added. "Whatever they claim, everything is recorded," he said.
Tickets will be soon posted to the offenders ordering them to pay a fine of up to 1,000 baht.
"If they fail to pay it within seven days, police will ask the Land Transport Department to 'freeze' their annual car tax renewal," Pol Col Kitti said.
He said it is highly possible for one person to commit several offences within a day. Their violations will not be combined.
"If someone breaks the law three times, he will get three tickets," the deputy traffic police said.
"Committing the same offences every day will mean receiving tickets every day," he added.
Police began installing the 14-million-baht surveillance camera system in June last year.
A test of the system, covering the same 15 spots last month, recorded 226,257 violators. On a daily basis there were up to 7,542 violators, according to police.
These motorists ignored a law prohibiting them from changing lanes near flyovers, underpasses and bridges across the Chao Phraya River.
Many violations, during the test period took place on outbound lanes on Chaeng Watthana Road at the Government Complex flyover, followed by inbound lanes on Chaeng Watthana Road at the Bang Khen flyover.
Infractions also took place on inbound lanes on Din Daeng Road at Sam Liam Din Daeng, inbound lanes on Prajadhipok Road near the Memorial Bridge and outbound lanes on Kalapraphreuk Road at the Kamnan Maen flyover.
These infractions were wiped clean before Wednesday, when police began enforcing the law.
Other camera locations are near six major flyovers. These are the outbound lanes on Ngam Wong Wan Road at Bang Khen; the outbound lanes on Boromratchonnanee Road; outbound lanes on Phetchaburi Road at Ratchathewi; the outbound lanes on Ratchadaphisek Road at Prachanukun, as well as the outbound lanes on Ratchadaphisek Road at Wong Sawang and the outbound lanes on Ratchadaphisek Road at the Rama IV flyover.
Also under surveillance is the Ratchada-Lat Phrao intersection, the inbound lanes on Ratchadaphisek Road at the Huai Khwang underpass and the outbound lanes on Arun Amarain Road leading to Siriraj Bridge.
Police have put up signs warning motorists about the new surveillance zones.
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