HM the King calls for new rules on motorcades
Under a new set of guidelines based on a personal request by His Majesty the King, closures of Bangkok streets and inter-province roads for royal motorcades will be brief and imposed only in relevant areas, a senior police officer said yesterday.Traffic will be allowed on converse [opposing] direction roads without islands, and closures will be imposed only when the royal motorcades are near, said Pol Maj General Anant Srihiran. Pedestrian flyovers will still be closed temporarily on roads at the time royal motorcades are passing, except when there are requests from individual motorcades, he added.
His Majesty the King has publicly remarked, particularly in a 2001 statement, that he was concerned about traffic congestion in Bangkok, especially during royal motorcades.
According to Anant, junior policemen at Bangkok-based police precincts had often been over-anxious about following the new guidelines and ordered blanket closures in long periods during royal travels in the city.
A key condition in the new guidelines focuses on allowing traffic on the converse [or opposite] direction on roads without islands. The new guidelines will be followed up by monthly evaluations from all relevant agencies, including the police’s own Office of Royal Court Security Police and the military’s Royal Aide-De-Camp Department.
A total of 25,000 booklets of the guidelines have been published for distribution to police stations starting from mid- to late-July, telling area traffic policemen what to do. Pictorial explanations show how closures should be imposed on different types of roads or at specific areas, including various types intersections, that would minimally affect local traffic during royal motorcades, he said.