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No more hand-held phone chatting while driving

In three months, drivers using a mobile phone without a hands free device will face a fine of Bt400-Bt1,000.

The National Legislative Assembly (NLA) Wednesday approved the amendment to the Land Transport Act, which will go into effect 90 days after publication in the Royal Gazette.

The NLA committee vetting the bill had attached a notice to it, saying the partial prohibition would cover many motorists especially those in big cities with heavy traffic.

A public relations campaign was needed for better understanding of the law and for easier enforcement by police. An equipment budget should be prepared for police to implement this new regulation effectively.

The scrutinising committee had also urged moving towards an outright ban on all mobile phone usage while driving. Since traffic jams and road accidents cost the economy dearly, the government should improve and update the whole Land Transport Act and have National Police adjust Traffic Police operating procedures for faster and better enforcement of road rules.

No one debated the bill, so the NLA president called for a show of hands, and it passed with 57 votes.

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