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Tougher van rules to see bad drivers fined

NATIONWIDE: Drivers of passenger vans who exceed the passenger limit of 13 as stipulated by a Section 44 order will face a fine, says Department of Land Transport chief Sanit Phromwong.

accidents, transport, death,

Bangkok Post

Monday 15 May 2017, 08:47AM

Under the new regulation, passenger vans are not permitted to carry more than 13 people, excluding the driver. Photo: via Bangkok Post
Under the new regulation, passenger vans are not permitted to carry more than 13 people, excluding the driver. Photo: via Bangkok Post

The regulation on limiting passenger capacity takes effect today (May 15) and will last until the vans are phased out and replaced by small 20-seat micro-buses, a form of transport the government believes will be a safer alternative to the vans.

Mr Sanit said drivers who fail to follow the regulation will be fined by authorities.

The department has given operators time to adjust their vehicles and improve their services to comply with the stiffer rules. It has also publicised the new regulation and educated operators about the need for improvements, Mr Sanit said.

Under the new regulation, passenger vans are not permitted to carry more than 13 people, excluding the driver. The space between the last row of seats and the boot must be at least 20cm wide to allow passengers an easy escape in case of emergencies.

Passengers must be able to open the boot from the inside of the van, and drivers must also keep an emergency hammer on board should they need to break a window.

Drivers are also required to place an “emergency exit” sign in red above the vehicle’s door or on the door’s edge, he said.

The government is tightening van safety after a fatal van collision killed 25 passengers on Road No.344 in Chonburi’s Ban Bung district on Jan 2.

The rules were aimed at reducing the number of road accidents during the Songkran festival, a time when many people travel home to celebrate the Thai New Year.

In March, however, passenger van operators threatened to stop their services if the government did not relax the new traffic rules.

They had called for leniency on passenger seat limitations as well as seat belt requirements.

The group wanted the government to allow operators to keep the number of passenger seats at 15, not 13.

Operators complained they were concerned that they would not be able to shoulder the higher expenses required to adjust their vehicles.

Read original story here.



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Kurt | 16 May 2017 - 15:38:51

...Stipulated by a section 44 order means nothing...
What does a 'order' in Thailand means? 
Nothing more than cleaning your thai desk.
As long the present thai government is not cleaning up RTP it are just words. Just lip service, looks nice in newspapers to read.
But people just shrunk their shoulders and have their lunch.

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Kurt | 16 May 2017 - 13:41:10

Who is going to fine RTP sergeants and sub LT's who after RTP working hours drive family Van's with to many passengers?

With section 44 they not even able to arrest 1 criminal demoted monk ( ex abbot with a pile of arrest warrants). 
stipulation or not. Just arm chair office paper talks only.
First see right actions before believing it.

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Pauly44 | 16 May 2017 - 11:09:20

How about tackle the problems at the core i.e driver training and attitudes, following the road rules or get heavily penalized by police actually enforcing them in roving unmarked patrols (yep that would take work) alas it will never happen as majority of the drivers are above the law selfish attitudes and police are too lazy to do the work required to enforce it.

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malczx7r | 16 May 2017 - 07:01:31

All i see here is more deaths at the hands of the dumb drivers, kill more in a single accident!

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Jor12 | 15 May 2017 - 20:58:37 the says, "as stipulated by a Section 44 order."

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Kurt | 15 May 2017 - 17:55:56

Simon01:  Exactly, you all say it. Money-money-money.
Safety? What safety?
It are 'just' foreigners we drive. 
Who cares? Not the thai law enforcement authorities. Right?

Surprising that the present militair regiem is doing so little about it.
And the regiem doesn't reform RTP as well.
While RTP should be one of the 'shoulders' of governing!

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simon01 | 15 May 2017 - 15:59:54

How can the companies say they can not shoulder the costs?? That just says 100% they put money before safety. The law is the law and must be obeyed. If you cant run a safe legal company then you should not be doing it and thats that. Plus the number of people on the bus does not make the driver any better. They drive badly with one person in the same as with twenty. All it does is limits the death toll. Its just not true to say that less people is to tackle the bad drivers. The drivers need to be ALL pulled from the roads. Do a full on training course and test. Then anyone failing can not drive a bus anymore. Anyone driving badly afterwards must be banned for life as they are putting lives in danger.

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Kurt | 15 May 2017 - 15:56:42

Discover Thainess:  Until another wiser and better informed person answers you, I would say:
No, safety wise nothing change, actually more 'haring in the can', more casualties, because it will be with the same drivers from minivans to bigger microbuses with of course same driving attitude.
The 11 seater carries 13 passengers, the later 20 seater will carry 22 or 23 passengers.

The whole change from minibuses to microbuses is just for the sake of money.
Make more money-money-money with the same thai drivers.
Logic, is it not?

Forget the 'tougher van rules', they will not be enforced. Just false lip service.
They do not with the 11 seaters, and will not do it with the 20 seater.
Who anyway will do that in Thailand?

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Discover Thainess | 15 May 2017 - 09:48:17

Does anyone know why the 20 seater microbuses will be safer than the minibuses? Do they have better crash protection or something? Assume the drivers and therefore driving standards will remain the same? Also, I can't understand why a vehicle constructed to carry 11 passengers is allowed to carry 13. 

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