Registration renewals will be denied to traffic fine non-payers

Maybe it belongs in the same category as the Patong Tunnel or the Phuket Light Rail – those stories that just drag on for, well, decades…

Now the Land Transport Department is finally claiming they’re ready to link the data bases from the Police and Land Transport so they can better track traffic offenders who haven’t paid their fines. The same promises have been made over the past 24 months. Now it looks like they have the two departments’ data bases finally linked.

The Nation is reporting that, starting in the first quarter of next year, police-issued traffic tickets will be linked to the Land Transport Department’s system. This will result in an automatic suspension of vehicle-tax renewal for those failing to pay traffic fines.

Deputy department chief Kamol Buranapong says this is now pending with the final touches being made to information-linking guidelines between the two agencies, and it should be implemented by the end of March.

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One of the issues pending the two agencies’ agreement concerns a person’s ability to appeal the vehicle-tax renewal suspension due to their failing to pay fines for an accumulated number of traffic tickets.

In this regard, the idea is for the Land Transport Department to issue a round-shaped sticker to give the motorist up to 30 days to clear the fines and renew their tax – or they will be hit with the charge of failing to renew vehicle tax, punishable with a maximum fine of 2,000 baht.

Whether a motorist will be allowed to appeal the tax-renewal suspension will be a matter for the police’s discretion, he added.

Eligible cases would include a motorist facing an accumulated amount of traffic tickets in various police jurisdictions, or a motorist whose registration-plate number is illegally used by another vehicle driven by someone who then breaks the traffic law, he explained.

Meanwhile, as for the latest update on the merging of two outdated laws – the Vehicle Act of 1979 and the Land Transport Act of 1979 – into one piece of draft legislation under a new Land Transport Act , Kamol said the hefty fine of up to 50,000 baht for the charges of driving without a licence or driving with an expired/suspended/confiscated licence, would now be amended to a lower, as-yet unspecified amount.

The deputy department chief sad the draft bill was now before the Secretariat of the Cabinet, which would then forward it to the Cabinet and the National Legislative Assembly for approval.

The Land Transport Department renews vehicle tax for around 100,000 people per day.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Nation

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