Bangkok traffic to get better?

Bangkok's deputy police chief has a set of proposals to make Bangkok traffic flow smoothly and quickly. (updated)

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If the Bangkok deputy police chief's proposals are implemented, will city traffic look more like that in the photo on the left (by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill) or on the right (by Kosol Nakachol)?

Wednesday morning update: After taking a storm of criticism from Bangkok car owners through the social media, Pol Maj Gen Adul Narongsak now says his proposal to increase annual registration fees on vehicles more than 10 years old is not urgent.

Tuesday's story

Fee hike looms for old vehicles

Adul pushes bold plan to relieve city snarl-ups

Owners of vehicles more than 10 years old could face a hefty increase in registration fees under a proposal to relieve traffic congestion.

Under the proposal unveiled by deputy city police chief Adul Narongsak, older vehicles registered in Bangkok would be subject to the same fees as new models.

Currently, the annual fees come down as the vehicle gets older.

The plan is aimed at easing traffic congestion in the city, as older vehicles are more likely to break down.

Pol Maj Gen Adul disclosed his traffic plan at the Metropolitan Police Bureau Monday.

Pol Maj Gen Adul said: "Many older vehicles will often break down on roads due to their poor condition. This causes traffic congestion.

"If the owners want to continue using old vehicles, they will be charged higher registration fees."

He said he hoped that those who choose to continue running older vehicles will keep them in good condition to ensure they run well and are safe to drive.

The deputy metropolitan police chief said the new fees would not apply outside Bangkok.

According to the Department of Land Transport, 8.4 million vehicles were registered in Bangkok from 1999 to September this year. Of this figure, 5.8 million vehicles were more than 10 years old when they were registered.

Pol Maj Gen Adul did not say when the proposed new registration fees would come into effect.

He said police also intend to immediately remove illegally parked vehicles during rush hours or those in the path of royal motorcades.

Currently, wheel clamps are placed on illegally parked vehicles, but Pol Maj Gen Adul said removing them with tow trucks would be a better option.

Clamped vehicles worsen congestion as motorists have to travel to police stations to pay fines before the vehicles can be freed, he said.

Pol Maj Gen Adul said police are already authorised under sections 57 and 59 of the Traffic Act to tow away illegally parked vehicles, but the measure is not currently enforced.

Pol Maj Gen Adul said the tow-truck measure would come into practice early next month, pending support from the Ministry of Transport and other state agencies.

Owners of vehicles which are towed away will be fined 500 baht for violating the parking ban, 500 baht for the removal fee and 200 baht for the daily care of towed vehicles, he said.

The Metropolitan Police Bureau plans a raft of projects to relieve traffic congestion in Bangkok.

As well as the hike in registration fees for older vehicles and the removal of illegally parked vehicles, city police propose to launch a campaign against drink-driving, and better manage traffic in flooded areas and around sites staging major events such as festivals.

They also plan to introduce an electronic fine system for traffic law violations, and set up a Bangkok traffic court.

Other proposals include improving traffic control centres and staggering school and office hours, and implementing traffic relief measures on 10 heavily congested roads.

The roads are Lat Phrao, Rama IV, Sukhumvit, Ratchadaphisek, Ramkhamhaeng, Phahon Yothin, Sathon Nua, Ratchadamnoen Klang, Phetchaburi and Vibhavadi Rangsit.

Related search: Bangkok traffic, fee hike for old cars, Pol Maj GenAdul Narongsak

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