Phuket

Gas station attendants criminally responsible for customers who don’t hang up

PHUKET: Gas station attendants will be held legally responsible for ensuring that drivers turn off their engines and put away their cell phones at the pump, officials from the Department of Energy Business (DOEB) confirmed Sunday.

DOEB issued a new law to this effect, according to which, if gas station attendants are caught disobeying regulations, they will be fined a maximum of 100,000 baht, face one year imprisonment, or both.

While the law has technically been on the books since Sunday, DOEB officials have said that strict law enforcement will not take place until 2018.

“During these next two years, we are working on educating gas station staff across the country,” said DOEB official Wanjan Nuanjan. “There are a lot of them and our education initiative will take time. Therefore, during this period, we will warn, rather than arrest those found in non-compliance.”

All gas station attendees will be educated with full safety procedures, Ms Wanjan confirmed.

“They will get certificates after completing the course. After that, we will strictly arrest those caught in violation of the regulations. They will not be able to claim that they do not know what the regulations are,” she added.

“Staff have the right to choose not to fill a vehicle. If drivers do not follow the safety precautions, attendants are not allowed to fill their tanks. The responsibility is the attendants’ – they’re the ones that could face punitive action on this.”

The DOEB is also asking for drivers’ cooperation in implementing the safety precautions.

“I think everyone will get used to it within two years. Help each other practice the rule, for your own and others’ safety,” Ms Wanjan said.

— Kongleaphy Keam

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