Motorcyclists fined 1,000 baht for using tunnel

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Traffic police are stationed at each entrance to the new tunnel and are stopping bikers and writing 1,000-baht tickets that must be paid at the Pattaya Police Station.
Traffic police are stationed at each entrance to the new tunnel and are stopping bikers and writing 1,000-baht tickets that must be paid at the Pattaya Police Station.

Pattaya drivers are facing an expensive learning curve with the new Central Road bypass tunnel, with many getting hit with 1,000-baht fines for ignoring signs prohibiting motorbikes and other small vehicles.

Police chief Col. Apichai Kroppech said Aug. 29 that 18 motorists were stopped and fined in the Sukhumvit Road tunnel’s first three days of operation. He said numerous signs clearly point out what vehicles are and aren’t allowed through the underpass, but drivers are simply ignoring them.

Pattaya spokesman Pinit Maneerat noted that motorbikes, tuk-tuks, and carts are not allowed to use the tunnel as there is no dedicated lane for them.

Also prohibited are large trucks, trucks carrying hazardous materials or trailers longer than five meters.

The speed limit inside the tunnel is 80 kilometers per hour and stopping inside the underpass is prohibited.

Apichai said careless motorcyclists are the main cause of accidents and wrecks inside the tunnel likely would lead to more casualties and tremendous traffic jams. So traffic police are stationed at each entrance and are stopping bikers and writing 1,000-baht tickets that must be paid at the Pattaya Police Station.