Truck smoke targeted over PM2.5 pollution

PHOTO: The PCD will target public transport vehicles and trucks emitting black smoke. (via Cost Effective Maintenance)

The Pollution Control Department (PCD) announced that they are ramping up efforts to control fine dust pollution in Bangkok and surrounding areas by increasing their scrutiny of public transport vehicles and trucks emitting smoke. The PCD Director-General Athapol Charoenshunsa stated that worsening PM2.5 pollution levels in the capital and its surroundings are partly caused by public transport vehicles that run on diesel engines.

To address the issue, the Department of Land Transport, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, and traffic police have set up additional roadside checkpoints. There they will inspect public buses, trucks, and other vehicles for excessive black smoke emissions.

The objective is to identify vehicles that emit excessive smoke and bar them from being allowed to drive. Owners would be required to fix the problem before they are permitted back on city streets.

From October of last year to last Friday, authorities conducted inspections of 39,909 public transport vehicles in and around Bangkok. Out of these, 178 were found to emit smoke that exceeded legal standards. Some 135 of the offending vehicles were trucks, 38 were public buses, and five were chartered buses. The PCD director-general warned that those trucks responsible for emitting excessive black smoke could face substantial fines.

The measures taken by the PCD and its partners seem to be paying off, as there are now 20 smoke checkpoints operating along the main and feeder roads in and around Bangkok. The government hopes that these measures will help curb fine dust pollution and improve the air quality in the capital and its surrounding areas.

The crackdown seems to be a yearly trend. Last January, the Department of Land Transport threatened that owners of cars and trucks emitting an excessive amount of black smoke will be fined up to 5,000 baht. And in January 2020, random checks were conducted on trucks along Bangkok’s Vibhavadi Rangsit Road. Inspectors flagged down trucks near the Don Mueang Airport. Half of the trucks checked were belching black smoke over safety standards.

Environment News

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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.