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MAIL OPINION  By Shana Kongmun


Traffic rules enforcement

I recently read that the police intend on “cracking down” on those who violate traffic laws at certain intersections; mainly in Bangkok but also three intersections in Chiang Mai.
On the list of traffic offensives they will be targeting include running red lights, illegal parking, driving down the wrong side of the road, stopping in crosswalks, and illegal license plates. The running of red lights is a major problem at many of these intersections but that is in large part because the lights are timed so poorly and traffic flow is very bad. One solution to this issue would be to install countdown timers at intersections such as Rincome which do not have them. Another solution would be to hire traffic experts to study traffic patterns and flow and determine the best way to keep traffic moving. Having a nearly ten minute wait at times at the Rincome intersection is not conducive to encouraging people to not run red lights or drive down the wrong side of the road so they can make the right hand turn in a timely fashion. If the police are going to have their hands on the button for the lights then they need to use them wisely and in a way that moves traffic.
Traffic is actually a science, and as Chiang Mai continues to grow and the number of cars continues to grow, those in charge are going to have to face this fact. Hiring traffic engineers to study the roads, determine truly necessary projects and regulating lights are long term solutions. Enforcing all traffic regulations and mandating proper driving instruction at the school level will go far towards improving traffic.
Education is key, not just at the school level but at all ages; people need to understand why they need to yield, why they should allow others to merge, why they shouldn’t push their way in,why they should stay off their phones when they drive and why they should pay attention when the lights change. If everyone drove not like they were the only people on the roads but as if they understood that their actions affected those around them and drove in a way that considered not just the car in front of them but two cars ahead, behind and off to the side then traffic would be less of a problem than it is.

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Traffic rules enforcement