BangkokCrime

First victim of illegal sidewalk parking crackdown: Chiang Mai police

PHOTO: Illegal sidewalk parking gets the police a ticket. (via Chae Chiang Mai Facebook)

After slacking on enforcement while attention has been focused on Covid-19, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has told officers to take action on illegal driving and parking on sidewalks. They are partnering with the Royal Thai Police who are encouraging a nationwide crackdown on illegal sidewalk parking. But one of the first victims busted for it ended up being the police themselves.

The BMA instructed City Law Enforcement officers to be more vigilant in enforcing the law to protect residents as well as public and private property by keeping vehicles, moving or parked, off the sidewalks. Bangkok’s Deputy Governor says that this has always been the law and has always been enforced, but admits that the rule has slipped in priority as officers and agencies have spent the better part of 2 years focusing on the needs of the Covid-19 pandemic to try to curb the spread of infections.

There are reports that with lax enforcement, drivers are getting emboldened and breaking the sidewalk law with little worry of consequences. But now the work burden due to Covid-19 is subsiding, and the government intends to crack down on illegal sidewalk parking and driving.

As such, they asked private citizens to assist by being their eyes and ears and submitting photos of lawbreakers to them, and even offered 50% of the fine for violators to be given as a reward for those who reported the offenders. Citizens could provide evidence at their district offices, or online through the easy-to-remember ebn6703w LINE App account, the City Law Enforcement Department Facebook page, or at www.bangkok.go.th/reward.

That call for citizen enforcement may have backfired though, as Tuesday morning a post was made to the Chae Chiang Mai V2 Facebook group with a photo showing a Bhubing Rajanives police car parked on the sidewalk. The photo was taken that morning outside the Chiang Mai University Convention Centre and was a perfect illustration of the type of illegal sidewalk parking the law enforcement agencies are vowing to crack down on.

The irony was not lost on the person who made the post, who requested that the Provincial Police Region 5 report on whether that police vehicle was violating the law.

In a shocking twist though, the police superintendent investigated the photo and identified the police officer driving that car that day. He admitted his supervisors sent him to buy supplies and he parked illegally on the sidewalk to shop.

The police officer received a 500 baht fine for illegal sidewalk parking and the police station says he will be disciplined.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.