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Van drivers ask PM to change new safety rules

Representatives of public transport vans on Tuesday urged the prime minister to cancel the 13-seat limit safety requirement and for passengers to fasten their seat belts.

The new regulations were imposed under Article 44. The order was published in the Royal Gazette last Wednesday to improve the safety of vans used for public transportation.

Submitting their petition through the Public Service in Bangkok, they asked for a grace period until their current concession contracts with the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority expires.

They claimed they have insufficient funds to make many of the adjustments which are required under the new rules.

They asked for the 13-seat limit to be cancelled so their current 15-seat vans can be used legally. They also asked for the postponement on the requirement to have a GPS device installed on each van, which they claimed was unnecessary as congested traffic conditions prevent vans from speeding anyway.

They said that the requirement for all passengers to wear seat belts should be the responsibility of passengers because the vans already instructing passengers to wear seat belts.

The order authorised Land Transport Department officials to revoke or suspend the use of transport vans or the public transport licence for up to six months if an accident stems from a van driver exceeding the legal speed limit or the driver worked beyond the legal limit of driving hours. A penalty will also be imposed if the van is used for illegal activities, or passengers are overcharged.

Source: The Nation

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