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in-focus

Motorcyclists go to court to fight flyover ban


REPRESENTATIVES of a motorcyclists group filed a complaint at the Central Administrative Court yesterday seeking a temporary injunction and cancellation of the Bangkok traffic police ban on motorcycles driving on 45 flyovers and underpasses.

The 80 representatives, led by Club to Assist Victims of Crimes president Achariya Ruangrathana, said they would sue the Metropolitan Police Bureau, the Highway Department and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration – as they were the agencies involved in implementing the ban.
About 400 motorcyclists showed up outside the court to give the group moral support.
Achariya said the ban was illegitimate because a legal order must be published in the Royal Gazette before being implemented.
He said the ban adversely affected 3.3 million motorcyclists in Bangkok so lawmakers should study the impact before passing such a measure.
National police spokesman Pol General Dechnarong Sutticharnbancha said people had the right to protest but the ban was intended to improve society, not negatively affect motorcyclists. He said that police would assess the ban’s effectiveness after 90 days.

Up to Bt1,000 fine
Under the move that took effect on April 1, the Metropolitan Police Bureau called on traffic police to strictly enforce the Land Transport Act to prevent motorcycles, three-wheeled vehicles and carts from using 39 flyovers |and bridges as well as six underpasses in the capital, with |offenders to face a potential penalty of a fine between Bt500 and Bt1,000.
In related news, woman identified as university student Kwanreuthai Chainakhin, 23, was killed in an accident yesterday on Bhumibol 1 Bridge expressway in Samut Prakan’s Phra Pradaeng district. Kwanreuthai was riding pillion on her boyfriend’s motorbike as part of a motorcycle caravan when the vehicle crashed into a barrier knocking her to the ground.
She was then hit and killed |by a lorry, whose driver fled the scene.
Kwanreuthai’s boyfriend, Pol Lieutenant Chaiyan Thongkhamchum, 31, was injured in the crash and alledgedly shot his pistol into the air, then attempted to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge, but was restrained by friends at the scene.
Chaiyan is being treated at a Bangkok hospital.
Besides facing a charge of reckless motorcycle riding that led to a person’s death, he also faces a disciplinary probe by his supervisors at Lat Phrao Police for violating the ban on motorcycle traffic, as the bridge is among roadways on the prohibited list.
 

Published : April 25, 2016

By : Angsuma Sridokkham, Wuth Jitt