City police have set strict guidelines in a bid to prevent car thieves exploiting a new policy to tow illegally parked vehicles.
Metropolitan Police Bureau (MPB) deputy chief Adul Narongsak said that only specially licensed trucks would be permitted to tow vehicles, and they must do so under the direct supervision of a traffic police officer.
Any breach of these guidelines would automatically be considered car theft, he said.
Pol Maj Gen Adul was speaking ahead of the launch of a new campaign to help solve the city's chronic traffic congestion.
From today until Sunday, parking violators on 10 major roads will be issued with a warning from police. From Monday onwards, however, their cars will be towed.
The MPB is in the process of issuing the special licences for tow truck drivers participating in the campaign. Those drivers will be given a sticker to place on their trucks to indicate they are registered.
Pol Maj Gen Adul said about 500 private tow-truck operators have agreed to join the campaign, along with around 100 police-owned trucks.
He said information on the trucks and their drivers had been entered into the police database. Any motorist who violates parking laws on the 10 major roads will be fined 500 baht and their vehicle will be towed immediately, he said.
Car drivers will then be forced to pay an extra 500 baht for the towing service and a 200-baht garage fee.
Owners of six-wheeled vehicles will have to pay 700 baht for the towing service and 300 baht for the garage fee, while 10-wheel-vehicle owners will be hit for 1,000 baht and 500 baht respectively.
"The tow trucks must stick with the police. If there is no police officer beside the truck, even if that truck is legally authorised, they are prohibited from taking any action," Pol Maj Gen Adul said.
"The police must remain with the trucks until the mission is done."
The roads covered in the police campaign are: Lat Phrao Rd, from Lat Phrao intersection to Lam Sali intersection; Rama IV Rd, from Hua Lamphong intersection to Sukhumvit Rd intersection; Ratchadaphisek Rd; and Phahon Yothin Road.
Vibhavadi Rangsit Rd, from Din Daeng intersection to the Rangsit area; Sathon Rd; Phetchaburi Rd; Ramkhamhaeng Rd; Sukhumvit Rd; and Ratchadamnoen Avenue will also be targeted.