In through the out door: Highway 7 drivers create own, dangerous solutions to missing ramp problem

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The government’s puzzling failure to add on- and off-ramps to both sides of the Highway 7 extension continues to wreak havoc with traffic as motorists drive the wrong way and police can only issue tickets.

Since its opening last year, the highway has had only one off-ramp at kilometer market 121-122. Drivers are faced with either making dangerous turns across traffic to reach it or drive the wrong way down the on-ramp to get off. Likewise, many lazy drivers simply drive the wrong way up the off-ramp rather than go far down Sukhumvit Road to make a U-turn and access the solitary on-ramp.

The exit to Highway No. 7 at kilometer market 121-122 often has drivers turning in the wrong direction. The exit to Highway No. 7 at kilometer market 121-122 often has drivers turning in the wrong direction.

The result has been a flurry of accidents and tickets, with no indication the Chonburi Highway Department plans to do anything about it.

Capt. Siriwut Padwichit, a deputy traffic inspector with the Banglamung Police Station, said officers regularly monitor the Highway 7 overpass and give tickets of 400-1,000 baht if they find people making illegal turns or driving against opposing traffic.

“We’ve been asked why we haven’t blocked off some areas for U-turns, but the highway is under the jurisdiction of the Chonburi Department of Highways, so it’s up to them to regulate this,” Siriwut said.

Until proper on- and off-ramps are built, all the police can do is write tickets and ask drivers to follow the law.