Traffic Violations Soaring Because Drivers Don’t Care: Police

Police officers stand near the scene of a fatal car crash Thursday morning in Bangkok.
Police officers stand near the scene of a fatal car crash Thursday morning in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Police said Thursday that public contempt for the law led them hand out millions more tickets to motorists last year.

Harsher punishments are being weighed after traffic police said they ticketed 11.7 million offenders nationwide in 2018 compared to 8.4 million the year before, an increase of 39 percent. Many went to repeat offenders, according to Lt. Gen. Roy Ingkapairoj of the Royal Thai Police.

Maj. Gen. Ekkarak Limsangkaj, a deputy commander of police training, said the surge was caused by poor law enforcement and public disrespect for the law.

“The problem of repeat [offenders] is because the current means of law enforcement are not effective for everyone and fail to discourage them with the penalties,” he said.

Traffic cameras busted the same truck belonging to a private delivery company 144 times last year for speeding and unsafe driving. More than 1,500 people caught driving drunk in the past four years were caught doing so again, Roy said.

Ekkarak said road users keep breaking the law because the consequences are not serious enough, adding that his special committee overseeing traffic problems are discussing the possibility of raising the stakes, especially for drunk driving.

Thailand ranked ninth highest in the world and top in Asia for traffic deaths, according to last year’s WHO report on road safety. The rank improved from 2015, when Thai roads were deemed the second deadliest in the world.