Safety units stepping up work for holidays

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Bangkok – The New Year’s Holiday Road Safety Center is introducing further measures in the effort to reduce the number of accidents and loss of life this holiday period.

Minister of the Interior Gen Anupong Paojinda, as director of the center, said that road safety measures and associated campaigns will run until January 2 with a focus on reducing accident risk factors among drivers, vehicles and the environment. The center is focusing on six main measures and one supplementary measure and is operating under the “One Province One Safe District” concept.

Emergency response has been prepared for rapid action and safety enforcement along major roads as well as waterways. A total 144 districts have been identified as being either red or orange level and will see close attention, especially in terms of testing drivers for alcohol consumption. If accident numbers remain high, the Ministry of the Interior will hold training sessions for drivers and increase punishments.

All police divisions have been readied to act during the holidays and will be operating rapid response units to handle emergencies. Deputy National Police Commander Pol Gen Sriwara Rangsiphramnakul has ordered police to enforce laws, be courteous to drivers and use discretion when choosing vehicles to search.

Bangkok Governor Pol Gen Assawin Kwanmuang has dispatched the city’s own safety units, which include firetrucks stationed in key areas beyond the 35 existing fire stations. Eleven service points have been set up for those entering and exiting the city and will be providing free vehicle checkups. Accidents can be reported on 199 or 1555 at all times.

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board has joined hands with its partners to test public transport drivers for narcotics and alcohol consumption. The board has already discovered one driver at the Southern Transport Terminal who tested positive for drug use, and is urging a closer watch. It reminds the transport industry that those found with such substances face up to two years in prison and a 40,000 baht fine. Tips about such problems may be reported on 1386.