Powerful motorcycles face tougher regulation
Big bikes will be redefined in the law and riders of the vehicles subject to stricter licensing procedures to increase road safety, according to highway police.
Highway Police Division (HPD) deputy chief Santikorn Vorawan admitted, however, that the Department of Land Transport (DLT) is the authority in charge of vehicle classification and issuing driver's licences.
Pol Col ML Santikorn said catching big bike riders is easier said than done. The bikes are often driven at high speed although they are legally classified in the same group as ordinary motorcycles.
The speed and lack of special driving skills to handle vehicles capable of travelling at such high speeds leave their riders especially prone to road accidents. When crashes involving big bikes occur, the extent of the damage is usually far greater than those involving ordinary motorcycles, the deputy commander said.
The bikes have bigger bodies and more powerful engines than ordinary motorcycles, he added.
Pol Col ML Santikorn said the HPD has brought up the issue of making big-bike riding safer for discussion with the DLT. It is agreed a legal announcement will be issued by the DLT to set big bikes apart from ordinary motorcycles.
In terms of size, the department will specify that motorcycles with an engine of 400cc or bigger which produce at least 47 horsepower are treated by law as big bikes.
Also, a person must be 18 years old or older to hold a big-bike driver's licence. Currently, a motorcycle licence requires has a minimum age of 15 years old.
Pol Col ML Santikorn added that "anyone applying for a licence to ride a big bike will need to attend special training sessions" and pass a test organised by the DLT.
The deputy commander, meanwhile, said fining speeding big-bike riders is not easy since motorcycles carry the number plates on the back of the vehicle whereas the police's remote speed sensors only capture photos of vehicles from the front.
He added that some big bikes were owned by people connected to high-ranking individuals or those with influence and junior police who caught them violating traffic laws were afraid to arrest or fine them.
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