New safety rules for public transport vans enforced
The Land Transport Department has begun enforcing strict safety rules targeting public transport vans - including a 13-passenger limit.
The rules also require vans to have an emergency exit that can be opened from the inside with a visible, reflective Thai sign identifying it, a 20 centimetre-wide walking space to reach the emergency exit and at least three glass-breaking hammers on the left, the right and the back of vans.
Van operators who fail to comply with the rules face fines of Bt500 to Bt5,000 and having their licence suspended for up to six months.
On the first day of enforcement of the new rules on Monday, in which fines were capped at Bt500, many vans at Bangkok's Victory Monument complied with the requirements.
Reducing the seating capacity from 15 seat to 13 aims to ensure there is enough space for passengers to quickly reach the emergency exit.
The department will also require fixed-route vans in Bangkok and elsewhere to submit their vehicles for an inspection and registration check on June 5 or July 5.
Chartered vans will be inspected on August 5.
Those who fail to comply face a maximum fine, the department warned.