Planning to travel for Songkran or do some driving? Besides keeping an eye on any provincial Covid-19 restrictions like Buriram or Korat or Bueng Kan, you should also be prepared for 1,200 police checkpoints nationwide.
This year, the checkpoints will be looking not only for drunk drivers and traffic rules but will also be looking for illegal migrant workers and checking temperatures, and seeing if anyone has symptoms of Covid-19.
A ceremony was held on Monday, April 5th, this week at The Tide Resort in Bangsaen with dozens of police officers from Chonburi led by Pol. Lt. Thitisaeng, Commander of the Office of the Royal Thai Police, which was on behalf of the Chonburi Provincial Police to kick off the Songkran period of road safety and checkpoints. Officers were told that this year they would be saving lives both on the roads and from Covid-19.
Motorists should be aware that checkpoints could be frequent, although there are no national-level restrictions and Chonburi has not enacted provincial restrictions on travel despite a rise in Covid-19 cases.
National police chief Police General Suwat Jangyodsuk told Thai press earlier this week the goal this year was to reduce traffic accidents during the Songkran holiday by at least 5% from figures recorded over the last three years. Last year, the holiday was canceled and the country was in a strict shutdown, while this year minimal Songkran activities, such as religious activities, are allowed. Activities that draw crowds, like parties, concerts, and water fights are banned.
Motorists are also advised there will be zero tolerance for drunken driving and to give themselves additional time when taking domestic trips due to the checkpoints.