The water festival in mid-April, the hottest month of the year, is known worldwide. One tradition sees people armed with water guns and buckets of water ride in the beds of pickups to splash water on passing vehicles and people.
However, last year the government banned the activity citing safety concerns for passengers at greater risk of injury in accidents.
However this year, deputy city police commissioner Pol Lt-General Panurat Lakboon said the ban would be relaxed, although drivers of vehicles were told to follow traffic laws.
“This year, the government will allow people to sit in the back of pickups and enjoy the water festival. However, we recommend that drivers of vehicles do not travel over the speed limit to prevent road accidents,” Panurat said.
The relaxation will cover those who would travel back to their home province in the bed of a pickup. Panurat warned that passengers were still banned from drinking alcohol.
“We would like to ask cooperation from women and transvestites to refrain from wearing revealing costumes as this could be against the law and punishable by a fine of Bt5,000,” he said.
During the festival, which officially runs from April 13 to 15, police will implement special-enforcement areas in nine places that will be crowded with more than 2,000 revellers.
They are Lumpini Park, where 70,000 people are expected; Silom Road, 60,000; Khao San Road, 30,000; Asiatique the Riverfront, 15,000; Na Na Songkran Festival, 10,000; Patpong and Thaniya roads, 8,000; CentralWorld and Siam Square, each 5,000; and Chokchai 4 Road, 2,000.
Published : March 29, 2018
By : JESSADA CHANTARARAK THE NATION