Imagine a ten-wheeled truck, groaning under the colossal weight of its payload, lodged firmly in a collapsed part of one of Bangkok’s busiest roads, Sukhumvit. This shocking sight, causing an unfortunate accident, was the catalyst for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to announce its plans to install cutting-edge weighting technology across the city, a statement made by spokesperson Aekvarunyoo Amarapala on a recent Friday.
Mr. Aekvarunyoo took the opportunity to detail the BMA’s plan. The city administrators are thoroughly researching a weigh-in-motion measuring technology. Following completion of the study, the BMA aims to trial the system at strategic ten locations before its comprehensive implementation citywide.
Apart from monitoring the load weight, the officials also plan to inspect the 317 construction sites dispersed across the city, with a robust regulation lying ready in the wings. If a construction site permits an overweight truck to enter or exit the premises, it may find its construction permit revoked by the BMA, warns Mr. Aekvarunyoo.
The BMA’s records show a total of 508 truck-related grievances lodged via the Traffy Fondue platform. The leading concerns were trucks operating during forbidden hours, spewing black exhaust fumes, and dropping objects as they rumbled along. Good news on the horizon, Mr. Aekvarunyoo confirmed that 362 of these issues had found their resolution so far.
Turning to the midweek accident involving the overladen ten-wheeler on Sukhumvit Road, legal action against the driver is now underway. According to Pol Maj Gen Panlop Araemla, the acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB), the driver faces two charges: reckless driving that resulted in damage and injuries, and operating a lorry exceeding the legal weight limit.
While the law restricts lorry carrying weight to 25 tonnes, investigations revealed the culprit ten-wheeler was hauling a gargantuan 37.4 tonnes. The police have further questioned the lorry’s owner, who controls a fleet of six trucks, to discover if the vehicle was intentionally loaded or modified to carry this illegal weight of soil.
However, the investigation is not merely surface level. Under orders from Pol Gen Torsak Sukvimol, the national police chief, the investigators are scrutinizing any related allegations, such as official bribery and underground construction safety.
A significant clue was the truck’s star-shaped green sticker bearing the letter B. MPB commissioner Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang declared that the MPB is collaborating with the Office of the Inspector General to discern if this sticker signified bribe payment. The results are eagerly awaited within a few days.
North-eastern Transportation Club president Wichai Sawangkajorn portrays another angle, alleging that rushed construction project deadlines have coerced the truck drivers into bribery. Simultaneously, the BMA’s Public Works Department made arrests of two more overweight lorries in the Bang Khen district on the same Friday, confiscating the vehicles and imposing a fine of 1,000 baht on the drivers.