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'Returning roads' campaign has improved traffic: police

The campaign to "return roads to the people" by towing away or locking the wheels of illegally parked cars, as well as arresting offenders "in a polite manner" has helped improve traffic over the past four days.

Pol Lt-General Wuthi Liptapallop, an adviser to the Royal Thai Police in charge of traffic affairs, reported that after four days of the campaign, a total of 79 cars had been towed away, 1,658 had their wheels locked and 142 drunk drivers had been arrested, plus 10,907 tickets were given out.

"The 'Return roads to the people' campaign has received tremendous results and we will be pursuing this campaign in four other tourist spots including Patong Beach in Phuket, Koh Samui, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar and Pattaya," he said.

Traffic police have been given 15 days to fix the problems and inform tourists. Police will also work with Bangkok residents to push through the "twin miracle project" in order to end the problem of pavements and streets being blocked by vendors.

"Police will also enforce 13 strict regulations upon drivers," Traffic Police Division chief Pol Maj-General Jirasan Kaewsaengake added.

These include illegal parking, double parking, parking or driving on sidewalks, dangerous overtaking of cars, driving against the flow of traffic, jumping red lights, not wearing seatbelts, using the phone while driving, driving without a licence and speeding.

Police say the violation of these 13 regulations often caused road accidents, so they would strictly enforce these traffic rules to cut down incidents. Police say they have not been able to continuously crackdown on traffic violators due to ongoing political protests.

Metropolitan Police Bureau deputy chief Maj-General Adul Narongsak further insisted that all police adhere to the campaign and take action in a "polite manner".


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