PM: VIPs must hurry through intersections
Members of the National Council for Peace and Order have been told by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to take "less than 30 seconds" to drive along roads or through intersections that authorities have closed off for them.
Government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd, who was speaking on the premier's behalf, said Tuesday that officers operating guiding vehicles which transport prominent officials must ensure their operations take "as little a toll on the public as possible".
According to him, Gen Prayut prioritised instructing authorities to speed up operations where main intersections must be closed off to minimise traffic.
Closing off roads for ministers and other important people is a common occurrence in this country. Traffic police typically turn on sirens to guide the vehicle while traffic is temporarily stopped until it has passed by.
According to recent Royal Thai Police reports, there has been a surge in complaints from the public regarding congestion on the capital's roads, due in part to this practice.
National police chief Chakthip Chaijinda said there will be "harsh penalties" for officers who mismanage traffic, adding that police do not want to portray the idea that cabinet members are more important than the public.