Special report: Identifying Vehicles in Southern Border Provinces with RFID


Bangkok, 13 April 2014 – Most violent incidents in the restive South involve stolen vehicles or those with fake registration numbers. It can therefore be assumed that a number of incidents will decrease if all vehicles in the region can be identified and tracked. This is the main idea behind a project by the Independent National Rule of Law Commission (NRLC) to use the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) with all vehicles in the far South. 

The NRLC has proposed that the Department of Land Transport under the Ministry of Transport issue a ministerial regulation requiring all automotive vehicles, including personal cars and motorcycles, to be installed with the RFID. The commission has suggested that the government be responsible for RFID installation costs since the technology will directly help authorities perform their duties and facilitate security operations in the restive region.

To put it simply, the RFID is the technology which identifies objects usingradio frequencies with wavelengths between 0.1centimeter and1,000 kilometers or the frequencies ranging from 30 Hz to300 GHz.The RFID gives information such as registration number, VIN number, engine number, color, brand, model, license expiry date and the place where the license was obtained. The RFID can also record such information to be used as evidence later.The information will be recorded every time the vehicle passes the RFID readers installed at various check points and important places.

The NRLC has informed the government that the RFID is a very worthwhile investment thanks to the cheapness of the technology. It will cost the government only 49 million baht to install the RFID with all 800,000 automotive vehicles in the deep southern provinces.

Technology can help prevent a loss of life and tackle the southern unrest if it is used correctly. However, it is still necessary to have capable personnel to operate and control it. Such capable personnel must be able to work as a team and truly understand problems in the restive south so that the RFID fulfills its potential in preventing violence and protecting lives of both officers and innocent people.