Police monitoring road safety for Songkran say they will allow passengers to ride in pickup beds during next month's holiday. (File photo)
Police will ease restrictions on people riding in the rear space or trays of pickup trucks during the Songkran festival, according to national deputy police chief Srivara Ransibrahmanakul.
He said passengers will be allowed to sit in the beds of pickup trucks as long as they are deemed safe during the Songkran festival on April 13-16 for the convenience of motorists.
Curbs on revellers sitting on truck beds proved unpopular during last year's festival.
He was speaking after chairing a meeting with provincial police offices and the Metropolitan Police Bureau via a video conference to lay down policies to ensure road safety during the Songkran festival.
He said police have been instructed to raise public awareness about drink-driving and warn motorists whose blood contains 50 milligrammes or more of alcohol per 100 millilitres that they will be subject to a court order for them to wear electronic monitoring bracelets.
He said he also told police to strictly enforce traffic laws and not to be lenient on drink-driving offenders who cause road accidents. According to Pol Gen Srivara, police reports should describe how their reckless behaviour contributed to the accident.
Songkran on pickup trucks can be wet. (Bangkok Post file photo)
He added that road checkpoints will also be increased this year to encourage motorists to respect the laws, including speed limits.
According to Pol Gen Srivara, the Royal Thai Police has issued traffic regulations barring 10-wheel and larger lorries from using three main routes covering 117 kilometres during April 11-17.
They are a section from Thap Kwang to Khlong Phai on Mittraphap Road, Route 304 Prachin Buri-Nakhon Ratchasima, and Aranyaprathet Road to Nang Rong Road. However, certain larger vehicles will be allowed to use the routes but they are required to seek permits, he added.
He said police will also open special lanes to accommodate traffic along heavily-congested routes such as Kaeng Khoi-Muang Lek.