Rules for Thai royal motorcades eased

2012-07-27 18:01

Bangkok - The king of Thailand wants to help ease Bangkok's legendary traffic jams and other inconveniences — and that means a few changes to the treatment of royals on the roads.

On Friday, authorities distributed 25 000 handbooks to police and other officials with guidelines for directing royal convoys and new protocol for royal appearances in public places.

The manual overturns several practices that had quietly irritated the public in a country where open criticism of the royal family is taboo.

Among the new rules: Shopping malls do not have to shut if a royal family member shows up, and oncoming traffic will be permitted on the road opposite a royal convoy.

Palace officials said that the revered 84-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej himself initiated the new guidelines.

  • deon.evert - 2012-07-27 19:11

    I've watched one of these motorcades in Bangkok myself. The organisation is absolutely legendary! Believe me, blue-light convoys in SA have nothing on this. BKK is a BUSY, BUSY city and all the traffic suddenly disappears in an instant as it gets stopped elsewhere. Hundreds of no-nonsense armed cops appear from nowhere and line the streets. Pedestrians on the sidewalks must stop, be absolutely quiet and face the road as the motorcades pass on empty streets. Two minutes later, the chaos resumes as if nothing ever happened. Amazing experience!

  • blou.bul.94 - 2012-07-27 20:30

    I really hope our political leaders learn something from this and also relax their blue light brigades (but unfortunately, I'm not that hopeful)

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