In an attempt to reduce PM2.5 pollution, Thailand’s Department of Land Transport will impose heavy fines on the owners of vehicles that emit black smoke exceeding the safety standard.
Department director-general Jirut Wisanjit on January 24 said the maximum would be 5,000 baht ($167) and suspension of vehicle use until it was fixed.
Jirut said his department had been implementing the Ministry of Transport’s policy to reduce dust particles less than 2.5 micrometres in the air in Bangkok.
He said: “Since the beginning of fiscal year 2019 until January 2021, the department has inspected 689,333 vehicles in Bangkok areas and has suspended 8,762 vehicles from usage until they have their emission system fixed.
“As for vehicles that emit high volume of black smoke but do not exceed the safety limit, the department issues warnings to the owners and urges them to inspect their vehicle condition and make sure they were properly maintained.
“The department has opened vehicle inspection centres that also accept motor-vehicle tax payment at Phutthamonthon, Romklao and Khlong Luang product distribution centres, in a bid to help reduce the number of large vehicles entering inner Bangkok to have their vehicle inspected and pay tax.
“Motorists can help reduce air pollution caused by black smoke and PM2.5 dust particles by having their vehicles regularly serviced at department-certified vehicle inspection centres nationwide.
“Alternately, they can switch to using electric or NGV- [natural gas for vehicles] powered vehicles which have low to zero emission. The department has promoted the latter approach by reducing the annual motor-vehicle tax on low-emission vehicles under the Vehicle Act BE 2522.”
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK