11 July 2024

About 500 motorcyclists rallied in front of the City Hall in Bangkok on Sunday to demand the right to use under and overpasses, which they have been barred from using for the past three years on safety grounds.

The group handed a letter of demand, addressed to Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang, which was received by Mr. Kosin Thetwong, assistant secretary to the governor.

Mr. Pirasith Jeerawong, a leader of the group, said that the current ban is unfair, pointing out that most of the road accidents involving motorcyclists were not caused by the use of under or overpasses, but by speeding or reckless driving by individual bikers.

Authorities should instead concentrate on restricting speeding and reckless driving, said Pirasith, who also demanded that the entire city administration should resign if they cannot solve this problem.

He said that the group had previously proposed that the city administration reserve a special lane in the under and overpasses for motorcyclists, but the proposal went unheeded.

There are about 3.8 million motorcycles in Bangkok alone.

Mr. Nithi Songcharoenkit, deputy director of the Office of Civil Works, explained that City Hall was not empowered to remove the signs banning motorcyclists installed at under and overpasses, although it was responsible for installing them in the first place as required by the Land Traffic Act.

He said that authority rests with the Police Traffic Division adding, however, that if there is a ruling from the Central Administrative Court to remove the signs, City Hall would immediately follow the court’s order.