Sattahip police threaten crackdown on free-wheeling baht buses

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Police are threatening to put the brakes on free-wheeling baht bus drivers in Sattahip whose habit of loading their open-air pickups with as many as 30 school children has drawn the ire of local residents.

Following a string of complaints about songthaew drivers’ speeding, reckless driving and overcrowding, Col. Somchai Sunthanawanik, superintendent of the Sattahip Police Station, said officers will step up enforcement of Department of Land Transport rules, arresting drivers and revoking licenses of the worst offenders.

Sattahip police are threatening to crack down on drivers of baht buses overloaded with too many school kids. Sattahip police are threatening to crack down on drivers of baht buses overloaded with too many school kids.

Somchai said that while he believes the station has always “strictly implemented” such laws, he admitted there have been few actual arrests and many complaints.

The police colonel’s threat comes after residents near the Thai-Austrian Technical College, Chonburi Agriculture and Technology College and Sattahip Wittayakhom School all complained about the feeding frenzy that breaks out among baht bus drivers when school ends. Eyewitness accounts showed drivers were loading up their trucks with 20-30 students, ignoring traffic rules and speeding to grab as many 10 baht coins as possible.