Bangkok comes up with new rules to curb street racing

Street racers sometimes gather in the hundreds and ride recklessly.
Street racers sometimes gather in the hundreds and ride recklessly.PHOTO: THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

BANGKOK • Street racers will find it harder to get together in Thailand after the military government issued new rules to rein in wayward youth.

The order, which was published in the Royal Gazette on Thursday, bans public gatherings for the purpose of street racing, as well as penalises any party that possesses, sells or modifies a car or motorcycle for street racing. 

Those guilty of the latter infringement face a six-month jail sentence and/or a 20,000 baht (S$786) fine. Their business licence could also be revoked.

Parents of teenage racers could be summoned or asked to furnish a bond for up to two years.

If their children violate the ban on street racing twice, the parents face three months in jail and/or a 30,000 baht fine. They could also have their bond forfeited.

Young motorcycle street racers - called dek wan - have drawn complaints over the years for their reckless riding in groups that can number in the hundreds.

The tough new rules were introduced after more than 400 motorcycle street racers were arrested in western Bangkok in May.

The sting operation, which was conducted in the wee hours of a Sunday morning, involved more than 100 policemen and soldiers who blockaded key exit points near their gathering location in Thon Buri district, said a report in the Bangkok Post. Two of those arrested tested positive for drugs.

About a quarter of those rounded up that morning were juveniles. Police transferred the teenagers to a remand home for a "therapy programme", during which their parents were also required to participate.

Tan Hui Yee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 25, 2015, with the headline 'Bangkok comes up with new rules to curb street racing'. Print Edition | Subscribe