Motorists who use the right lane of a highway, with more than four traffic lanes, and drive at a speed of less than 90kph will face charges similar to speeding, under a new ministerial regulation being mulled by the Transport Ministry.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said yesterday, January 13th, 2020 that the idea of setting the minimum speed for driving in the right lane will be considered, together with a proposal to increase the speed limit on highways to 120kph.
He asserted that the regulation on maximum and minimum driving speeds is intended to ensure better safety and to reduce traffic congestion. He dismissed skepticism that it will cause more high speed accidents and pointed to similar laws in many Western countries.
He expects the new traffic regulation to come into force in February if the Transport Ministry fully approved them which will be debated at the end of this month, January 2020.
The Highway Department has recently stressed the need for the setting of different speed limits for different traffic lanes which, it believes, will help reduce lane changing and accidents caused by sudden lane changes.
Accidents caused by sudden lane changes account for 30% of road accidents, or 5,000 annually according to the Transportation Ministry.
The Pattaya News first wrote about this last fall when it was first being considered and it now looks likely to pass. Skeptics on social media say they believe increasing the speed and fining people for going too slowly may only increase the already high rate of accidents in Thailand which has some of the deadliest roads in the world.
Rewrite and additional material by The Pattaya News team.