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The Land Transport Department will on Tuesday start cracking down on passenger vans which do not observe the 13-seat regulation.
Mr Sanit Promwong, the department head, said over the weekend that, during the initial stage of the crackdown, violating passenger vans would be fined 500 baht each, but the fine would be increased to a maximum of 5,000 baht tentatively in June when the regulation will be strictly enforced without reprieve.
Besides fines, the department will consider other penalties against the violators and these include suspension of driving licenses, suspension of operating licenses of up to six months or rejecting the issuance of travelling logbooks.
Mr Sanit said that van operators could remove the extra seats to 13 seats themselves or hire mechanics to do on their behalf and each row of seats will have an aisle about 20 cm wide in the middle so that passengers in the inner rows walk out of the vehicle.
Altogether 42,000 passenger vans have been registered with the department.