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
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