PM: Avoid Songkran fatalities
WITH 25 lives lost in the tragic van accident in Chon Buri passed Monday on top of the New Year’s Seven Dangerous Days casualties, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha will intensify traffic law enforcement to prevent horrific road accidents during the upcoming Songkran festival.
According to Deputy Interior Minister Suthee Makboon, chairman of the center for the prevention and reduction of road accidents under the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, there were total 3,919 accidents, 478 deaths and 4,128 injuries throughout the Seven Dangerous Days (Dec. 29 – Jan. 4), making it the highest death toll in ten years of record keeping.
With Songkran, the famous traditional long Thai New Year holiday coming up, PM Prayut is ready to get tough with traffic offenders throughout Songkran.
“Laws must be enforced strictly now before more such accidents occur. I can’t accept such casualties, not even one death,” Prayut said.
Besides strict law enforcement, other measures include installation of GPS devices on all public vehicles, carrying records of drivers’ driving hours, mobile teams to check for substandard or overcrowded vehicles and overworked drivers.
Top: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has set his sights on traffic offenders. Photo: Nationmultimedia.com
One ticket for all electric trains, express boat
MANGMOOM (means spider in Thai) card was named after a winning design in a contest held by the Common Ticketing Office under the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTTPP) in October 2015 and it is the store-value card that Bangkok commuters can use as a single ticket for all electric trains and Chao Phraya express boats after it is launched in April this year.
The card can be used with the BTS Skytrain, MRT Blue and Purple lines, Airport Rail Link and the Chao Phraya express boat service and will eventually include public bus services, the expressway and motorways later this year, said Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport.
Inset: The Mangmoom or spider card is due to be launched in April this year. Photo: Thaicommonticket.com
PM releases new song
ON Jan. 4, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha debuted his reportedly self-written lyrics of a new song before the Cabinet meeting.
The song is called “Saphan” meaning “bridge,” composed by Wichian Tantipimonphan and Major Surachai Thawinprai and sung by Sgt-Major Pongsathorn Phorchit, conveys an analogy to overcoming the country’s recent obstacles in terms of both economy and politics.
According to the PM, he recommends that civil servants play an important role as bridges for the people to cross over the “strong current” so that the burden will not fall on the PM alone and people will not crowd together on one bridge (him).
“I want people to act as bridges like I have done. Do not crowd on one bridge with me because it could collapse,” said Prayut.
By Piboon Awasdaruharote