The Metropolitan Police Bureau will stop policemen issuing traffic tickets if they fail a new exam aimed to test their knowledge of traffic-related laws.
Officers must score at least 80% to pass the exam or they will be “reduced to doing administrative and PR jobs in offices or just helping their colleagues bok rot [call on vehicles to stop]”, deputy city police chief Sukhun Prommayon said yesterday.
He said officers should master the laws they are required to enforce so that they can correctly identify and explain misdemeanors committed by drivers.
There have been many arguments between traffic police and motorists who accuse some officers of being completely wrong or at a loss for words when challenged, he said.
To avoid being put into this situation, only knowledgeable policemen will be able to issue tickets.
Up to 1,000 multiple choice questions have been prepared, Pol Maj Gen Sukhun said. One hundred will be selected and distributed to each of nine Metropolitan Police divisions and 88 police stations across Bangkok. Every unit will be given a different set of questions.
“These questions are not too difficult,” he said. Officers will be asked to differentiate between types of laws, including the Land Traffic Act, Land Transport Act and Vehicle Act as well as new traffic laws.
The officers must, for example, be able to tell what law — Land Traffic Act or Maintaining Cleanliness and Orderliness of the Country Act — applies if a driver’s ice-loaded truck spills its load across a street, he said.
Up to 3,000 traffic policemen from lieutenant colonel to lance corporal will take the exam early next month.
If an officer fails, they will be given the chance to re-sit the test. If they are unable to improve their scores, they may be transferred, Pol Maj Gen Sukhun said.
“We don’t want to punish officers, but the test is needed to check their professionalism,” he said.
The have all been informed about the test, so they should have enough time to prepare, he said.
Pol Maj Gen Sukhun said he had “high hopes” as Bangkok only wants professional law enforcers.
In 2017, about 5,000 traffic policemen were ordered to take a similar exam.
Only 26 of the officers failed to achieve the pass mark of 45 out of 50 and were subsequently not allowed to issue tickets.