Bangkok police tell drivers to hang up the phone
Bangkok police issued nearly 200 warnings a day in the first week of a ban on using mobile phones while driving, but the practice is considerably more common than that number indicates, local media reported Friday.
Police issued 1,294 warnings in the first week, the English-language Nation newspaper reported, quoting Bangkok Deputy Metropolitan Police Chief Major General Panu Kerdlarppol, the dpa reported.
But Panu suggested the number of drivers talking on the phone while driving is far higher in the city whose official registered population is 10 million but that is believed to be home to 15 million people. He said most violations take place during rush hour when police are unwilling to stop suspects because doing so would cause traffic jams.
Tinted windows and rain also make it difficult to see whether drivers are using a mobile phone, which adds to enforcement difficulties.
Many police officers consider it a "petty" offence and give it little attention, Panu said, but added the ban was meant to improve road safety.