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Changes to traffic laws to be delayed, govt says

Changes to traffic laws to be delayed, govt says

GOVERNMENT officials have delayed a decision on a long list of proposed amendments to the Kingdom’s traffic laws, including the introduction of an article that would require all drivers to have road insurance, authorities said this week.

Proposals discussed at an inter-ministerial meeting in late February were due to be finalised at a meeting later this month before being reviewed and sent to the National Assembly for final approval.

The proposals included the introduction of a helmet law for motorbike passengers, an increase in fines for noncompliance with the helmet law and the imposition of fines for unlicenced drivers.

However, Preap Chanvibol, director of the Department of Land Transport at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said ministry officials need more time to debate the proposed amendments to 13 articles.

He was unable to give an exact timeframe for the extension, but said officials would have to meet at least seven or eight more times to discuss the proposed changes.

He pointed to the introduction of mandatory insurance as an example of a change that needed to be closely examined to ensure it did not create problems for drivers.

Jeroen Stol, country director for Handicap International Belgium, said he had not heard details of the proposal but agreed with it in principle.

“Mandatory insurance is always a good idea because that will save a lot of people problems once they go to hospital,” he said. “Health care should be free, but it’s often not here, and that can create inequality for poor people requiring immediate care.”

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