Public Van Driver Fined For Speeding, Taunting Passengers

A public van crash in Yala province on 28 Oct 2013.

BANGKOK — The Department of Land Transport has fined a public van driver for speeding and taunting a passenger who raised concerns about his driving.

The driver, Weera Jaruekklang, has been fined for 5,000 baht and suspended from driving for seven days, said the Department of Land Transport director, Teerapong Rordprasert.  

Last week a passenger filmed Weera driving the Bangkok to Chonburi route at 140 kilometres per hour. The legal limit on that road is 120 km / hour. 

When the passenger raised concerns that he might kill or injure others with his reckless driving, Weera shot back, "Has anyone died yet?" and refused to slow down. 

The video (above) was later posted and widely shared on social media, with many Thais commenting that Weera's behaviour is what contributes to Thailand’s high rate of traffic accidents and fatalities.

According to data compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Thailand has the 7th highest number of traffic deaths and injuries in the world.

Teerapong said yesterday that Weera also tampered with a device in his vehicle, installed by the Department of Land Transport, that monitors the speed of public vans. 

The official urged members of the public to submit complaints relating to public vans and other mass transportation services to the Department of Land Transport by calling its hotline, 1584.

"The Department of Land Transport has a strict policy of punishing public vans that violate the laws, especially those that exceed the speed limit," Teerapong said, adding that repeated offenders will be stripped of their licenses to drive public vehicles.

According to the data compiled by Thailand's Foundation For Consumers, public vans were involved in at least 73 accidents between October 2011 and March 2013 that killed 105 people and accounted for 31 percent of all traffic accidents in those years. 

Many experts blame lax enforcement of traffic laws in Thailand for the high incidence of road accidents. 

 

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