Crackdown on crime for Songkran

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Police have revealed plans to keep crime and disruption during the Songkran holiday period to a minimum.

Phuket City Police Superintendent Pol Col Paween Pongsirin told the Gazette that the Government has set a target of a 15% reduction in the number of accidents compared with last year, so there will be a crackdown on motoring offences.

Col Paween said statistics showed that traffic accidents soar during Songkran, so his officers would be especially vigilant for drunk drivers, those who drive too fast and those driving without licences. The crackdown will continue from April 9 to 18.

He explained also that the number of “zones” where Songkran can be celebrated with the traditional water throwing will be increased, after the traffic problems of last year. However, powerful water pistols, ice and powder will be banned.

“We’re planning to increase the areas for Songkran festivities,” he said. “Last year, we arranged zones, and people were banned from celebrating at the side of the road, but people went off to party at Saphan Hin, and that just caused more traffic congestion and accidents.

“So this year there will be more zones where celebrations are allowed, although we haven’t yet decided where these will be.”

In addition, police will, if requested, monitor the homes of people who celebrate Songkran away from Phuket, said Col Paween.

“During this period, officers will monitor houses left empty while the residents are on vacation elsewhere. They should contact us before they go, by calling 191.”

Teerayuth Prasertphol, Chief Technical Officer of Phuket Provincial Transportation Office (PPTO), said his staff intend to check buses between April 7 and 10, to make sure they are fit to be on the road at a time when so many people are likely to be traveling.

Officers will also test bus drivers to make sure they are not drunk or using drugs.

Phuket News
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