While attention has been focused on Covid19, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has urged officials to crack down on illegal driving and parking on the sidewalks. They are partnering with the Royal Thai Police, which is promoting nationwide crackdowns on illegal sidewalk parking. But one of the first victims to be arrested for this was the police themselves.
The BMA has instructed city police to be more vigilant in enforcing the law protecting local residents and public and private property by keeping moving or parked vehicles off sidewalks.
Bangkok’s deputy governor says this has always been the law and enforced, but admits the rule has lost priority as officials and authorities have spent most of the two years responding to the needs of the Covid 19 pandemic to the spread of infection.
There have been reports of lax enforcement encouraging motorists to break the curbside law without worrying about the consequences. But now the workload is easing from Covid19 and the government plans to crack down on illegal parking and sidewalk driving.
For example, they asked private individuals to help them by keeping their eyes and ears open and providing photos of lawbreakers and even offered 50% of the offender’s fine as a reward for those who reported the offenders. Citizens could submit evidence at their district offices or online through the “easy-to-remember” ebn6703w LINE app account, the City Department of Justice’s Facebook page or at www.bangkok.go.th/reward.
That call from civilian enforcement could backfire, however, as a message was sent to the Chae Chiang Mai V2 Facebook group Tuesday morning with a photo of a Bhubing Rajanives police car parked on the sidewalk.
Taken that morning outside the Chiang Mai University Convention Center, the photo was a perfect example of the kind of illegal sidewalk parking law enforcement is trying to the crackdown.
The irony was not lost on the writer of the email, who requested that the Regional Police 5 report whether this police vehicle was breaking the law.
But in a shocking twist, the police commissioner looked at the photo and identified the officer who was driving that car that day. He admitted that his bosses had sent him to buy groceries and he illegally parked on the sidewalk to buy groceries.
The policeman was fined 500 baht for illegal parking on the sidewalk and police said he was being disciplined.
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