Bangkok

Police banned from time off over Christmas, New Year holiday

PHOTO: Police are told they can't take leave from Christmas to after the New Year holiday. (via Samui Times)

With an expected swell of holiday weekend travellers, cars on the road, and people celebrating the New Year holiday, the Royal Thai Police broke some bad news to the 80,000-member police force: officers are not allowed to take any holiday leave for the end of the year. The announcement ordered 80,000 police officers that no extra days off or holiday leave will be approved between Christmas Day on December 25 and after the new year, up until January 4.

All hands are needed to maintain order and assist as people move around the country and millions flock to the capital. Last year the new year holiday saw at least 6 million cars passing in and out of Bangkok, and this year authorities are estimating that an extra 1 million additional cars and vehicles will enter or exit Bangkok, with most travelling in just a 5-day span between December 29 and January 4.

Just as flights tend to be most packed around January 3, authorities are predicting severe traffic and massive car volume peaking on January 3. Because of that, traffic police units are planning ahead with strategies of tracking traffic patterns and being prepared to recommend shortcuts, bypasses and alternate travel routes for motorists travelling after New Year’s Eve.

Action is even being taken to put pressure on construction projects that could affect traffic to be completed by Christmas Dat at the latest with any road resurfacing or improvements to be finished before the rush. 10-wheel trucks will be banned from driving on 194 kilometres worth of roads on 7 key routes leading up to New Year’s Eve, being prohibited on December 30 and December 31.

Meanwhile, to attempt to avoid bottlenecking, reduce air pollution, and save travellers a few baht, authorities have announced that Motorway 7 and Motorway 9 will waive all toll fees for 4 days over the New Year’s holiday.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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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.