PM says allowing sitting on pickup truck beds is short-lived

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said yesterday that the ease of the order forbidding passengers sitting on the bed of pickup truck would be short-lived as it is dangerous.

He made clear of easing the ban during the Songkran period following public outcry over such a sudden move, thus making people unprepared for the change.

He said the recent public outcry over the official announcement forbidding people to travel in the bed of pickup trucks has forced the government to allow a leniency period for Songkran.

But he said he felt that despite this some positive benefits has come about in that the public has at least been made aware of the dangers of such a dangerous practice and are adopting a more safety conscious attitude.

He went on to say that this grace period will only be allowed for a short time in order to allow the public to adapt and reassured everyone that the enforcement of this regulation will not cause significant difficulties.

He said this leniency period does not mean that the regulation has been terminated.

Instead, he said this rule has been around for more than 20 years.

But what remains is to put measures in place to effectively enforce it in order to ensure greater safety and prevent loss of life and damage to private property.

He said authorities cannot possibly turn a blind eye to this rule because they are responsible for public safety.

I am sure the measures that will be employed will not inconvenience the public too much, he said.

Yesterday the prime minister was in evident good humor heralding the arrival of Songkran when the Tourism and Sport Minister led a delegation of officials to meet and wish him Happy Songkran.

At the same time, the Thai Red Cross Society also brought in local celebrities such as Mint Pichaya and Benh Pathumrat to invite the public to join in a campaign to donate blood during Songkran.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)