The head of Thailand’s central investigation unit said that from now on there will be no handing over of money for fines at checkpoints throughout the country.
Pol Lt-Gen Torsak Sukwimon said that a “weak point” of the Royal Thai Police was the actions of the Highway Police that could be misconstrued.
In their desire to help out the public by accepting money for fines at checkpoints they were open to charges of malpractice, especially if things are filmed and shared on social media.
He said that he has spoken to the new commander of the highway police, Pol Maj-Gen Ekkarat Limsangkat, to reorganise checkpoints so that fines are paid away from where they are issued.
He said that the current system, while designed to help the public was not transparent and when officers are seen stuffing money into their pockets it was most unseemly.
Checkpoints in future will be set up with more clarity in mind with lots of cones and at least three CCTV cameras to protect all concerned.
Fines would all be entered on a central database so that when transgressors went to pay everything could be viewed with clarity.
It would enable officers at the fine issuing place to issue just a warning for people breaking the law for the first time for misdemeanors such as speeding or illegal lane changing, for example.
A record of the offence would be entered so that if they do it a second time they won’t get away with it.
He called the new system “set zero”.
In addition he said that students on work experience with the police are to be used in a more formal capacity not just to prepare meals and “make the coffee”. They will actually work.
He said that they would be a good face to deal with the public in explaining police procedures and besides were “the public face of tomorrow”.
Thaivisa notes that the new commander of the highway police Maj-Gen Ekkarat has been the man heading the committee leading changes to police regulations and traffic laws over the last few years.
Checkpoints for DUI have already been modified in line with new regulations announced last week.