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Fed-up commuters want booze ban on trains, stations

ANTI-ALCOHOL advocates yesterday called on the Transport Ministry to ask the Public Health Ministry to ban the sale of alcohol at train stations and on trains.

Anti-Alcohol Organisations Network director Songkran Pakchokdee submitted the petition and said a ban should reduce sexual harassment, fighting and disturbances caused by drunk passengers.

Transport Ministry permanent secretary Somchai Siriwatanachok said the ministry would speedily request that the Public Health Ministry issue such an order. Under the alcohol control law, drinking in prohibited areas is punishable by imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to Bt10,000, or both.

In the meantime, the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has been instructed to increase surveillance to prevent drink-related disturbances, said Somchai. He also noted the SRT had issued an announcement to regulate sales of alcohol.

Songkran revealed that a survey of 1,160 train passengers aged 15 and over at eight train stations in Bangkok during December 3-10, found that 86 per cent of the polled people viewed alcohol sales and drinking on trains as a big problem and a disturbance to passengers. Of the people interviewed, 94 per cent agreed with a ban on alcohol sales on trains as a safety measure. Also, 86 per cent favoured extending the ban to cover train stations, according to the poll.




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