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Social media pokes fun at new ‘overly strict’ vehicle safety laws

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As the junta’s orders to improve passenger safety in vehicles came into effect on Wednesday, people on social media expressed their feelings on the new controls.

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The new regulations require all car and truck passengers to wear seat belts and prohibit passengers from riding in the back, or cargo bed, of pickup trucks.
Some took advantage of social media to complain and some popular Facebook pages published doctored photos to poke fun at the ‘overly strict’ rules. Mor Lab Panda (https://www.facebook.com/MTlikesara/) and Phra Maha Paivan Vannabutr (https://www.facebook.com/PhramahaPaivan) posted doctored pictures of themselves sitting on a truck hood, speculating that some people might have to resort to that to get around.
However, law enforcement is serious about the measure. A Facebook user Araya Japakdee posted a traffic ticket issued in Maha Sarakham's Kantharawichai district for using a vehicle for the wrong purpose (carrying persons in the back of pickup truck).
Assistant Police Commissioner General, Pol Lt Gen Wittaya Prayongpan, explained on a Thairath TV program on Tuesday that private pickup trucks with licence plates that have green numbers on a white background, which traveled on highways and inter-province or inter-district roads, would be prohibited from carrying passengers in the back of trucks. They will face a charge of using a vehicle for the wrong purpose, punishable for Bt500 fine. Truck owners who want to carry people in the back, or cargo bed, of a truck will have to put a roof on the back and install two rows of seats and also register the vehicle with the Land Transport Department as public transport trucks with up to 12 seats, to avoid being charged, he said.
Four-door pickup trucks could carry passengers as normal and all passengers must wear seatbelts, he said.
The pick-up truck’s extended cap was designed for carrying items not people, he said, therefore anyone sitting in the extended cap, previously common practice in Thailand, would also be charged for using a vehicle for the wrong purpose.
The misuse of vehicle, according to the Land Transport Act, could actually be punished by up to a Bt2,000 fine, he added.
Two examples that would be exempted from the law are trucks in the Songkran water festival zone, where they will be stationary or moving slowly and when the trucks are carrying farm produce in plantations or rice field areas, Wittaya said.

Published : April 05, 2017

By : The Nation