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Thai police crackdown on use of phones, TV by drivers
Publication Date : 11-05-2012
People in Thailand who watch movies or talk on their mobile phones while driving may face negligence charges, Thai police said yesterday.
Metropolitan Police deputy chief Pol Maj-General Worasak Noppasitthiporn said: "The police plan to launch a campaign against watching TV and talking on mobile phones while driving in order to cut down on road accidents."
Worasak said the law prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving had not been strictly enforced, and police often turned a blind-eye to motorists who watch television.
"These habits distract commuters and cause accidents," traffic police chief Pol Maj-General Uthaiwan Kaewsaard said. "There is no law against watching TV while driving, but motorists can be charged with negligent driving.
"The traffic police plan to revise and amend traffic laws that have been in force since 1979," he added.
A motorist known as Kai said: "I agree that if they fix the laws it will benefit everybody, helping them drive safely."
Kai's car has a DVD player, though he says he only uses it to listen to music. However, he did admit to watching movies sometimes during long journeys.
"The police should strictly enforce laws and not take bribes. Then the laws will be effective," he advised, referring to the prohibition on using mobile phones that has been in place for a long time, but drivers could still be seen talking on the phone while behind the wheel.