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Vientiane Police Gear Up For Pi Mai Lao Security

Source: Vientiane Times

The Vientiane Traffic Police Department has rostered almost 600 police for security detail around the capital in a bid to reduce traffic congestion and road accidents during the Pi Mai Lao holiday from April 14-16.

Vientiane Police Office Deputy Chief and Director of the Vientiane Traffic Police Department, Ministry of Public Security, Lieutenant Colonel Youttaphong Souvannasing, told a meeting on Wednesday that this year 599 police including 35 women will be stationed at 32 locations over the holiday.

Teams of police will also be on patrol to maintain security on Roads 13 North and South.

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Police will direct traffic, monitor motorists’ speeds and assess their level of sobriety. Alcohol checks will be carried out at three locations on Roads 13 North and South and the 450 Year Road. Motorists who violate the traffic rules by driving drunk will be lectured on the error of their ways or fined. Most of the accidents that occur over Pi Mai Lao are the result of drunk driving and general non-compliance with the traffic rules. There are also more vehicles on the roads which means conditions can be more chaotic.

This year police intend to strictly enforce the law with regard to irresponsible road users. Violators, especially drunk drivers, will be penalised.

Prime Minister’s Decree No. 188, issued in 2007, outlines the measures to be taken against rule-breakers. Those caught driving under the influence of alcohol will be fined 10,000 to 1 million kip depending on the type of vehicle they are driving.

The decree states a fine of 10,000 kip for drunken bicycle riders, while persons driving motorbikes or three-wheeled vehicles will be fined 50,000 kip.

Drunk drivers of cars, pick-ups, vans and jeeps will be fined 100,000 kip, while the drivers of passenger trucks will be fined 250,000 kip, and inebriated drivers of trucks with more than six wheels will be fined 500,000 kip. Bus drivers will incur a fine of 1 million kip.

A fine of 30,000 kip will be imposed on motorbike riders and those driving three-wheeled vehicles who are found to be driving at high speed. Speeding drivers of other vehicles will pay a fine of 50,000 kip.

According to the Traffic Police Department, over three days of the Pi Mai holiday last year, from April 14-16, there were 159 road accidents nationwide in which 22 people died, 286 people were injured, and 281 vehicles were damaged.

Vientiane topped the list of road accidents with 32 accidents, which resulted in five deaths and 48 people sustaining injuries.

Drunk driving was recognised as being a major cause of accidents, along with speeding.

The majority of fatalities involved young people, with most accidents being collisions between motorbikes and pick-up trucks, and occurring around midnight or in the early hours of the morning.