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Pattaya Daily News

03 July 2008 :: 19:07:19 pm 6083

Road Laws: It’s Time Pattaya Got Its’ Act Together

It‘s good to see that at long last the authorities are cracking down on road offenders in Thailand, at least in Bangkok.
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The Nation reported yesterday, Wednesday, July 3, 2008, that 92 young street racers were prosecuted and face a suspended jail sentence, with their licences being revoked, plus having to do 2 days‘ community service – a far more humane and effective deterrent than jail, where they are only likely to become criminalised, if they are not so already.

It was also mentioned in the same report that 12 other street racers, this time aged under 15, were not punished, but put their under their parents’ watch for a year and if they reoffend, will be fined Bt5,000. One is tempted to comment that if they had been adequately under their parents watch, initially, they might not have committed the offence in the first place. And why were they not prosecuted for riding a motorbike under 18? If they are deemed capable enough to drive in the first place, which is highly dubious, why couldn’t they have been sentenced to community service, too?

They could have been set to cleaning up the streets, for example, or calming the palpitations of pedestrians or drivers who also had the misfortune to be present on or near the same stretch of road that the 100+ motorbikes and 16 pickup trucks were road racing on.

I also see that Bangkok has instituted a policy of providing 300 free bicycles at Sanam Luang and five nearby areas that locals and tourists can use free of charge and to encourage a green mentality. One hopes that Bangkok motorists have also been asked to show consideration to the poor souls, especially tourists, who take to the roads in full innocence.

Perhaps the cyclists will do the same as in Pattaya, where it’s deemed normal for cyclists and even motorbikes to take to the footpaths, that’s when they’re not driving up the wrong side of the road, against the traffic. Is it not high time, one might ask, for the authorities to start implementing sane traffic laws in this country, and especially in Pattaya?

In case, the powers-that-be are not sure of what policies to implement, they might take the following advice to heart:

1. Institute an adequate driving test for both motorists and motorcyclists, with sufficient driving lessons and a written test before allowing such individuals to be unleashed on the roads
2. Police road junctions and prevent light jumpers
3. Build underpasses rather than allowing U turns
4. Have sufficient road traffic patrols to prevent speeding
5. Enforce the helmet law, everywhere!
6. Force buses to actually stop before picking up and dropping off passengers Implementation of these measures will help prevent the high prevalence of road accidents and bring sanity to the roads. There’s no need to fine offenders, give them community service, especially in hospital emergency rooms, where they can see the evidence of insane driving in all its gory details!


Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Editorial

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