BMA tightens safety measures for 4am nightlife
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BMA tightens safety measures for 4am nightlife

Tourists visit Khao San Road in Bangkok at night. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Tourists visit Khao San Road in Bangkok at night. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has begun tightening safety measures to ensure nightspots strictly comply with the law and are ready for the government's plan to extend opening hours to 4am.

Teerayut Poomipak, director of the BMA's Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said on Wednesday the office was preparing prompt responses to possible problems.

He said the office was working with the Public Works Department and district offices in scaling up inspections of safety and fire prevention systems at pubs and bars before the extension comes into force on Dec 15.

"Business operators who fail to comply with laws controlling building safety and fire prevention practices will face legal action," he said.

The BMA is offering assistance to such businesses which may want training in building safety and fire prevention, he said.

Sunthorn Sunthornchart, director of the BMA's Health Department, said staff were working with the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Disease Control to keep a close watch on compliance with the 2008 Alcoholic Beverages Control Act.

Under this law, alcohol sales to people under 20 years of age and individuals who are already heavily intoxicated, as well as selling alcohol outside sales hours, is strictly prohibited.

Currently, alcoholic beverages can be sold between 11am and 2pm and again from 5pm until midnight, unless otherwise granted special permission.

Thaiphat Tanasombatkul, director of the BMA's Traffic and Transport Department, said City Hall has 63,900 security cameras installed across the city. The BMA will cooperate with the Royal Thai Police to install more security cameras equipped with AI technology at spots considered at risk of accidents where the opening hour extension will be implemented, he said.

Public Health Minister Cholnan Srikaew said he understood that not all areas in Bangkok, Chon Buri, Phuket and Chiang Mai, picked for piloting the 4am closing time, would be included in the policy.

For its part, the ministry was exploring ways to support the policy while striving to avoid its adverse impacts on public health, he said.

Opas Karnkawinpong, permanent secretary for public health, said the DDC would monitor possible negative impacts of the 4am closing on public health, including alcohol-fuelled accidents and violence.

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