Police announce softer traffic policy

PHUKET TOWN: Although they will continue stopping those who break traffic laws, Phuket’s police say they will be more systematic about it, and will issue fewer tickets for traffic offenses than before. The new policy follows riots in the streets of Nakhon Sri Thammarat recently when motorcycle owners went on the rampage in protest against what they saw as excessively strict enforcement of traffic laws. “We still go out and catch people who break traffic laws, but the number of citations has decreased by 70% [since Nakhon Sri Thammarat],” said Pol Lt Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen, deputy superintendent of the Phuket Town Police Station. He said that the police will probably give simple warnings to those who break minor traffic laws. But, he added, those who break the law in ways that endanger other peoples’ safety will still get tickets. As examples, he cited those causing accidents or committing violations such as speeding, running red lights, or not having a license plate. (Cars without plates are often used by criminals, he explained.) “From now on, the police will set up check points and have an officer with the minimum rank of Pol Sub Lt supervising lower-ranking officers. “The officers will look for people committing a specific offense and give them tickets for that offense only, rather than citing them for every offense they come across, as was the case in the past,” said Pol Lt Col Teeraphol. The police will target violators of certain laws on certain days. In other words, on Monday, they may look for people riding without helmets, while the next day they may concentrate on people without headlights. If the police were to stop catching traffic offenders completely, he said, it would be hard to start again because people would get used to breaking the law. Instead, the police are taking a step back, before gradually working up again to enforcement of all traffic laws.

Phuket News
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