Gov’t Releases ‘New’ Rules on Royal Motorcade

A crowd waits on a pavement to receive His Majesty the King in front of the Grand Palace in Bangkok on May 5, 2019.

BANGKOK — The government on Sunday unveiled a new guideline designed to lessen traffic congestion when members of the Royal Family travel in the cities.

The new set of rules, 10 points in total, was compiled by the police after His Majesty the King called for a revamp in security measures that would cause minimal impact to motorists, government spokeswoman Narumon Pinyosinwat says in an online video.

New practices unveiled by the government, which it said would only be applied to the King’s “private trips,” include:

1. Traffic lanes will be left open for the public during royal motorcades, instead of being shut entirely.

2. The motorcades will occupy only certain lanes while the rest will remain open to motorists.

3. The lanes on the opposite side of the motorcade route will remain open as usual. If the road lacks a road median, items such as traffic cones will be deployed to ensure public safety.

4. Traffic lanes merging into the motorcade route at intersections will be open as usual, using traffic cones to guide traffic flow.

5 U-turn bridges and crossing bridges over the motorcade route will be open as usual.

6 At toll booths, only two rightmost lanes will be reserved for the motorcade, while the rest will be open to other vehicles.

7. Police will not force motorists to change direction at intersections along the motorcade route.

8. Traffic cones and lighting signs must be deployed in a suitable place that pose the least inconvenience to the public.

9. Police must consider employing appropriate public relations measures to notify motorists of optimal routes with the highest degree of convenience and safety.

10. Police commanders must supervise traffic management during the motorcades in person. They must also use appropriate manners and speech when addressing the public, and refrain from causing a sense of coercion.

Police often shut down major roads and intersections when royal motorcades pass by, prompting complaints of traffic congestion in the past, especially during city rush hours.

The palace has made several efforts to curb the impact of royal motorcades. King Bhumibol raised those concerns to his aides as early as 2001, according to media reports.

Guidelines aimed at improving motorists’ convenience during royal motorcades were also published on King Bhumibol’s instruction back in 2010 and 2012, but they were rarely followed.