Increased Police Efforts to Curb Street Racing
In response to complaints from residents and visitors about illegal street racing by a group of Arab tourists on motorbikes, Pattaya police have stepped up their efforts to curb the disruptive activity. The chief of Pattaya City police station, Pol Col Thanapong Photi, held a meeting with local authorities and motorbike rental business operators to discuss ways to address the problem. These tourists have been known to turn certain streets into race tracks at night, causing disturbances and posing threats to public safety.
Traffic Police Enforcement and Business Cooperation
Head of traffic police, Pol Lt Col Arut Sapanont, stated that traffic police have been deployed to enforce the laws in response to the rising complaints. Additionally, they are seeking cooperation from motorbike rental businesses in addressing the issue. Rental operators have been advised to thoroughly check their clients’ passports and driving licenses, and to keep copies for further examination. However, some tourists without licenses often ask others to rent the bikes for them.
Setting Up Checkpoints and Issuing Fines
To catch those participating in illegal activities, police will set up checkpoints at locations where the motorbike riders are known to gather. When making arrests, police will issue two separate tickets – one for motorbike riders facing charges such as not wearing helmets, driving without a valid license, and using vehicles with unauthorized modifications, and another for the seizure of the motorbikes used in illegal street racing. Motorbike rental businesses or owners will be liable for a 2,000-baht fine.
Recent Incident in Soi Yensabai
The issue of illegal street racing by Arab tourists gained widespread attention when residents in Soi Yensabai, South Pattaya, alerted police to their gathering in the early hours of July 31. Upon arrival, police found a group of Arab motorbike riders blocking the road and ordered them to disperse. When the warning was ignored, police confiscated 15 motorbikes for blocking traffic. A hotel staffer in the area reported that several guests had moved out due to the loud noise, while a resident also urged the police to take action against motorbike rental businesses.