End of Bangkok traffic checkpoints promised

The incoming chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau says checkpoints do more harm than good. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) will cease checkpoints designed to ensure public compliance with traffic laws, its newly appointed acting chief said.

Pol Lt Gen Chanthep Sesawech, who is set to take over the bureau proper once his appointment receives royal endorsement, said the checkpoints do more harm than good.

Such checkpoints are partly to blame for exacerbating the capital’s traffic congestion so should be withdrawn, with traffic police instead focusing on strictly enforcing traffic laws on those who, for instance, park their cars in a manner that obstruct traffic flow or run red lights, Pol Lt Gen Chanthep said.

Traffic officers will be assigned to ensure reasonable traffic flow and if they fail to enforce the law as required, which results in traffic congestion, they could face disciplinary action, he said.

Checkpoints aimed at curbing drink-driving and crime and ensuring public safety, will continue as usual.

At least one police inspector is required to be always present at a checkpoint and each time one is set up, prior approval has to come from an MPB deputy chief directing traffic policing, he said.

This is to ensure that every checkpoint can be held accountable in case a complaint or an accusation is filed or made, Pol Lt Gen Chanthep said.

Superintendents from all 88 police stations under the MPB will be briefed on the new policy at a meeting this Friday, he said.

In another development, Pol Col Kritsana Pattanacharoen, deputy spokesman for the Royal Thai Police, said it will begin from January next year strictly enforcing the legal requirement that new car owners have their cars registered with the Land Transport Department and that temporary red-coloured licence plates are changed to the standard white one within 30 days and not the current 60.

Those found violating this regulation will face a maximum fine of 10,000 baht, up from the current 1,000 baht he said.

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