Traffic fine defaulters exceed 80%
published : 29 May 2019 at 20:19
writer: Thodsapol Hongtong
More than 85% of motorists committing traffic offences have ignored ticket fine payments worth several billion baht, but they will soon face retribution by being prohibited from renewing their annual car licences.
The measure to renew yearly vehicle licences, which will take effect from Oct 1, came as police on Wednesday unveiled a sharp rise in the number of rogue drivers, which are factored into the high number of road accidents and shocking casualty figures in Thailand.
“I hope this will help reduce the number of offenders,” assistant national police chief Damrongsak Kittipraphat said.
Traffic police last year issued 11 million tickets, which was double the number a year earlier, but drivers paid for only 1.3 million tickets, he said.
"In just one year, the number of overdue ticket fines rose to 9.7 million,'' he said.
Usually each traffic law violator is required to pay 500 baht on average. This authorised police in 2018 to collect up to 5.5 billion baht.
“Also, in the first six months of this year, we’ve already issued seven million tickets, but 5.9 million, or 84%, of them have not been paid,” the national police assistant said.
Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak's agency also found several thousands of law breakers were repeat offenders, he said.
From January to May this year, nearly 7,000 people have died of road-related accidents and more than 412,000 victims were injured.
The fresh attempt not to renew yearly vehicle licences to help curb the crimes brings new hope to authorities. If drivers continue to ignore ticket fines, they will not be allowed to renew their car licences.
“If they do nothing, they will be fined another 2,000 baht for avoiding tax,” Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak said.
From Oct 1, drivers will be required to pay traffic fines and the yearly vehicle tax at the same time, but if they opt to pay only for the latter, they will be given temporary tax renewal stickers which will allow them to drive on streets for only 30 days, Land Transport Department chief Chanthira Burutpat said.
Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Police is reportedly considering scrapping an “award” given to traffic police who bring charges against offenders.
Usually 45% of ticket fines are shared among officers, but this is viewed as marring the image of police agency.