Police issued a stern warning on Tuesday against dek waen motorbike riders who have returned to take over the roads of Bangkok and some provinces after the government lifted the night-time curfew on Sunday.
The warning was issued during a press briefing on Tuesday by Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapas, the assistant national police chief.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday issued a warning saying the government would reimpose the night-time curfew if people failed to cooperate with Covid-19 control measures.
Gen Prayut's warning followed media reports saying young motorcyclists, or dek waen, gathered for illegal street races on Sunday night shortly after the curfew was lifted.
According to the authorities, people have filed complaints about motorbike racing on major roads in Bangkok and some provinces.
"Police will take tough legal action against these dek waen," Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak said.
He said six of them had been arrested in Songkhla.
The racers, aged 15-18 years old, were arrested for disturbing the peace after they gathered for illegal street racing on Sunday night after the night-time curfew was lifted, he said, adding their motorbikes were confiscated.
Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak said each juvenile offender was fined 1,000 baht while three of them were told to pay additional fines of 500 baht each for driving without a licence.
Their parents were notified and told to teach their children to not get involved in illegal street racing again, noting the parents were fined for allowing the teenagers to go out at night, he said.
He added the parents violated the Child Protection Law for letting the teenagers out.
Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak noted that if the racing offenders were adults, they would have been charged with reckless driving and prosecuted.
On Tuesday he allayed concerns among members of the public by saying police officers are doing their best to keep an eye on dek waen motorbike riders.
He said the Royal Thai Police have set up more than 1,000 traffic checkpoints across the kingdom to keep tabs on the young riders who may take advantage the lifting of the curfew to gather for illegal street races at night.
According to statistics presented by Pol Lt Gen Damrongsak, 1,699 offenders had been caught from June last year to April.
He said 19 people have reported offences to local police over the same period and received 3,000 baht each as a reward.
Members of the public are encouraged to report illegal street racing.