New rules invoked under Section 44 to curb illegal street racing and illegal night spots took effect Thursday with harsh penalties proposed including a five-year ban on pubs that allow entry to persons under 20 years. The new measures signed by the junta leader, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, were published in the Royal Gazette on Thursday and take effect immediately. The more stringent regulations came after Gen Prayut last month invoked powers under Section 44 of the interim charter to deal with social problems relating to juvenile street racers and night-entertainment Under the new orders, a gathering aimed at creating a street race is prohibited. Police and officials authorised under relevant laws can temporarily confiscate cars or motorcycles suspected of being used to race on the streets, and arrest suspects. Officials can also arrest those watching the illegal races unless they can prove otherwise. Previously, police could arrest street racers only after they had started illegal races.
Parents who fail to restrain their children under the age of 18 from taking part in street racing face a maximum of three months in prison and a fine up to 30,000 baht — the same penalties imposed under the Child Protection Act.