Party leader wants traffic fines reduced to stop corruption

Party leader wants traffic fines reduced to stop corruption

A traffic officer views monitors showing motorists changing lanes in restricted zones, in a control room at Metropolitan Police Division 2, before deciding whether to issue the driver a ticket. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
A traffic officer views monitors showing motorists changing lanes in restricted zones, in a control room at Metropolitan Police Division 2, before deciding whether to issue the driver a ticket. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, a list MP and leader of the Thai Civilised Party, said he is gathering signatures to support a bill to amend the Land Traffic Act and reduce the size of the new range of fines, which are too high and conducive to corruption.

The Land Traffic Act was recently amended to increase fines for traffic violations. The steep new fines were to take effect from Sept 5 but have been put on hold for three months.

Mr Mongkolkit said the new fines were too high. For example, the fine for exceeding the speed limit has increased from 500 baht to 4,000 baht; traffic light violations from 500 baht to 4,000 baht; and not wearing a motorcycle safety helmet from 400 baht to 2,000 baht.

Money collected from the fines would be shared among agencies - local administrations, the central government and traffic police - and used to pay informants for information leading to the arrest of traffic violators.

Mr Mongkolkit said he had not believed Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha would do this "horrible thing" to the people before he was suspended from duty as prime minister by the Constitution Court. He said this was an act of oppression.

"The increase in the fines only serves to condone corruption. I agree with the points deduction and suspension of driving licences, but not with the steep fines. I believe most opposition MPs do not agree with the amendment, which was proposed by the government," he said.

"So, to help the people, I will gather the signatures of up to 20 MPs to propose a bill to amend the Land Traffic Act to lower the fines to no more than the minimum wage," he said. "The sharing of money from the fines would be left out, but the points deductions would remain."


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