Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Songkran bus safety checks ordered

NATIONWIDE: All private bus operators providing passenger services during Songkran must pass a newly-introduced vehicle safety check with the Department of Land Transport, officials announced yesterday (Apr 2).

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 3 April 2018, 08:51AM

Buses prepare to take on passengers at the busy Mor Chit terminal in northern Bangkok. Officials claim that only re-inspected double-deckers will be allowed on the highways during Songkran. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

Buses prepare to take on passengers at the busy Mor Chit terminal in northern Bangkok. Officials claim that only re-inspected double-deckers will be allowed on the highways during Songkran. Photo: Bangkok Post / file

These stricter measures were launched after two more in a slew of fatal accidents involving substandard double-decker buses last month left several dead and injured.

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said that private buses will only be allowed to operate during the upcoming holidays if they receive an operating certificate from the department, which will reportedly have to be displayed on the buses themselves.

The Transport Ministry said last week it would gradually begin to ban unregulated double-decker buses from operating long routes following the incidents, in an announcement similar to one made in 2016 aimed at outlawing the highly-dangerous buses.

While no official date has been set for an official ban, the Songkran holiday from April 12-16 has prompted transport authorities to come up with concrete measures to keep up with the number of passengers expected to use provincial buses during this period.

Private buses and van operators are required to register with Transport Co Ltd, a state enterprise which oversees provincial bus and van operations under the department’s authority.

Privately owned vehicles are normally required to take fare-paying passengers during holiday seasons when passenger numbers soar. According to Transport Co Ltd reports, around 600,000 passengers are expected to use their services during this year’s Songkran. Over 7,000 double-decker buses nationwide are registered with the company.

Mr Arkhom said the DLT conducts inspections on public transport vehicles twice per year. Vehicle safety checks for private buses during Songkran, however, will be conducted in addition to those inspections, he added.

“Long-term measures, such as the next step [regarding the ban on double-decker buses], are awaiting submission to the land transport policy committee,” he said. “What we can do now, as a short-term solution, is regulate the quality of these buses.

QSI International School Phuket

“If a bus belonging to a private operator is found to be substandard in any way, all the remaining buses from that company must be inspected [by department officials] immediately,” Mr Arkhom added.

DLT director-general Sanith Phromwong said yesterday that the department has already begun revoking the certificates of substandard buses. The department chief made the comments in an update on two major cases involving double-decker buses last month, both of which killed several passengers.

According to him, the DLT has taken away certificates from the operator of a vehicle that crashed into a concrete pillar in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khieo district late last month, as well as the company which owns the double-decker bus that burst into flames last Friday (Mar 30), killing 21 passengers and injuring 27.

Mr Arkhom said after a press conference that new requirements regarding the structural integrity of the buses’ bodies, seats and regulations for using non-combustible materials will be enforced from the beginning of next year.

In a related development, Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon has instructed the Royal Thai Police to increase vehicle checkpoints during Songkran countrywide, adding that bribery during this period will not be accepted.

“This year we have enlisted the cooperation of all involved parties, including the private sector. We do not want to see deaths during Songkran festivities,” he said.

“Commanding officers must also ensure their subordinates conduct their duties with integrity, and issue traffic tickets in a straightforward manner.”

Read original story here.



Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters

Discover Thainess | 03 April 2018 - 10:04:31

Over 90% or the problems are with the drivers, not the vehicles.

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
Phoenix finally risen from seabed

I wonder if anyone will learn from this: thai company with basic equipment = failure. Foreign compan...(Read More)

Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Gen Angkoon seems to think that Thais have harder heads or something as he says they're likely t...(Read More)

Ban on Loy Kratong lanterns near Phuket International Airport

Ban them kratongs everywhere! They cause environmental damage both on land and in the sea....(Read More)

Tourist Police target rental operators over unlicensed tourists renting motorbikes

Same coloured helmets, that will make revenue collection easier... but hey, think about hygiene, who...(Read More)

No passport required: Phuket Immigration confirms ‘passport on person’ not required despite ’Operation X-Ray Outlaw Foreigner’

There has never been any law in Thailand that says anyone needs to carry their passport. There IS a ...(Read More)

God is a DJ - A divine event at Dream Beach Club

I would never go into that place, a monstrosity of a building and blight on the beautiful Layan beac...(Read More)

Phuket van driver falls asleep at the wheel, slams into street lamp

I would also add that the Filipina was immediately drug and alcohol tested, her picture included in ...(Read More)

Thais arrested for charging ‘access fees’ to Freedom Beach

Paully, if stupid people want to pay 200B to enter a beach, that's their problem. Nothing wrong ...(Read More)

Phuket Marine Office urges water safety for Loy Krathong

Marine boat operators, don't worry, just hold your breath during 22 Nov only. '''Cap...(Read More)

Phuket officials unveil New Year ‘Seven Days’ road safety campaign strategy

Haha, the 2 times a year safety campaign as like people don't know to drive safe and sober! Str...(Read More)