Saksayam backs down over mandatory GPS in private vehicles
Thailand’s Ministry of Transport has backed down over plans to mandate that all private cars and motorcycles be equipped with GPS devices, pending further study on real-time connectivity with the database of the Land Transport Department and the costs of that connectivity.
Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob said today (Monday) that, initially, the installation of GPS systems in private cars and motorcycles will be voluntary and the Land Transport Department has been instructed to conduct a further study into related issues, such as the introduction of code numbers for the privacy of vehicle owners equipped with the proposed GPS system.
He claimed that modern GPS systems could help reduce road accidents by alerting drivers of the safe distance between their cars and the vehicles in front of them, and could prevent car theft while enabling owners to keep track of their vehicles’ location.
Saksayam said that, since most new cars are already equipped with GPS, the Land Transport Department will explore other devices so that owners of older cars and motorcycles could afford to retrofit GPS.
There are now two types of GPS installation. The first is without real-time connectivity with the database of the Land Transport Department and no monthly fee. The second model does have real-time connectivity and there is a monthly fee, the amount of which is yet to be determined, said the minister.