The system was to be launched in December 2019. Officers in Phuket had been trained and were ready to start using the system, but the whole project – hailed as a milestone for its potential to help greatly reduce the carnage on Thailand’s roads each year – dragged to a halt within weeks.
The system is now expected to be brought online sometime in the middle of this year, Phuket City Traffic Police Deputy Chief Lt Col Rungrit Rattanaphakdee told The Phuket News today.
“The demerit point penalties for traffic violations have not yet started. The system does not work because we are waiting for the Department of Land Transport database to be connected to all police stations in Phuket, and nationwide,” Lt Col Rungrit explained.
“The system is expected to be operational by the middle of this year,” he added.
Lt Col Rungrit said that the system for police to use has already been set up so officers can enter details of traffic violations.
“Police officers can access a national database connecting every police station in the country. They can see details of all tickets issued for moving violations and update the system with new entries, including which driver has been caught,” he said.
“Once the Department of Land Transport database connection with the police is finished, officers will be able to search a driver’s history, see any previous traffic violations and the number of points left on their licence,” Lt Col Rungrit explained.
The officer at the Phuket Land Transportation Office (PLTO) responsible for overseeing the project in Phuket was not available to answer questions when contacted by The Phuket News today.
The question of whether or not drivers were automatically having points deducted from the licences for speeding was raised after people started complaining of being fined for speeding on the bypass road despite not exceeding 100km/h.
Lt Col Rungrit confirmed today that anyone fined for speeding on bypass road will not lose points for now, but will when the demerit-points system comes online.
“When the system comes online, any tickets issued automatically by speed cameras will result in points taken being automatically deducted from the licence of the registered owner of the vehicle,” he said.
“If the owner of the vehicle wants to dispute that, and present evidence that they were not driving the vehicle at the time, they will have to present their claim to the court,” Lt Col Rungrit explained.
Lt Col Rungrit today also confirmed that the official speed limit on the bypass road was indeed just 50km/h, as he confirmed last week.
However, Lt Col Rungrit today also made it clear that police will now issue speeding tickets for motorists driving faster than 80km/h on the bypass road, as opposed to 100km/h, which for years was the unofficial speed limit along the busy road.