Traffic police have been ordered to collar illegal motorcycle taxi operators throughout the capital following a fatal battle royale that erupted this past weekend.
About 150 officers were summoned to metro police headquarters yesterday, where they were told to be vigilant and immediately arrest any motorbike taxis breaking the law, despite the fact license status played no role in the daylight brawl that left one dead.
They were told to go after drivers operating with licenses, overcharging passengers and disturbing the peace.
Police citywide have been ordered to survey taxi stands in their districts to create a database of legal operators in each area, Metropolitan Police Commander Suttipong Wongpin told reporters after the meeting. The heightened enforcement aims to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s deadly clash, which police are still investigating.
Lt. Gen. Suttipong added that reports the sole fatality, a Kerry deliveryman, may not have been an innocent bystander as originally thought.
It’s a typically reactive response from the authorities, who frequently vow to enforce the rules on the books after various brutalities capture the public’s attention. In November, they announced a new maximum fine of THB1,000 (up from THB500) for motorcyclists driving on the capital’s sidewalks after a high schooler was knocked over in a heavily discussed incident. Like most cyclical crackdowns, it doesn’t seem to have made a dent in the problem seven months later.