New top traffic cop aims to tackle Pattaya congestion

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Pol. Maj. Arut Supanon inspects conditions around the schools, promising to alleviate traffic congestion in Pattaya.
Pol. Maj. Arut Supanon inspects conditions around the schools, promising to alleviate traffic congestion in Pattaya.

Pattaya’s new traffic police commander plans to deploy more officers to school zones in a bid to reduce congestion on city streets.

Pol. Maj. Arut Supanon said in a May 19 interview he plans to have traffic cops start working 30 minutes earlier – at 6:30 a.m. – so they are on the job around schools when the morning rush hits.

Pattaya’s many schools are a major chokepoint for morning and afternoon traffic and, with more opening soon, more needs to be done to control the flow of cars and motorbikes around them, Arut said.

“Pattaya’s current problems all come down to drivers who don’t obey the rules,” Arut said. “In addition to Thai residents, many foreign visitors and expats who are not familiar with Thailand’s traffic laws often hold up others.”

He plans to redeploy officers to the most congested areas, meet with school management to enlist their help in controlling traffic, create specific drop-off/pickup zones at schools, and ensure his officers are strictly enforcing all the rules.

“Locals are often seen driving on the wrong side of the road, going through red lights and more,” Arut lamented. “But due to the amount of motorbikes and cars, traffic police are challenged to enforce the law on a daily basis.”

Beach Road also will get more attention under Arut’s new strategy, with traffic cops cracking down on illegal parking and opening service centers to assist tourist. Officers also will receive more training in CPR, first aid and accident response, he said.