Sword-Wielding Songtaew Driver Arrested
CityNews – 20th February 2019. A video clip did the rounds on social media showing a songtaew driver chasing a car before brandishing a long sword which he threateningly jabbed out of his window. The incident happened on Maneenopparat Road in Chiang Mai city on the 11th February. Police say that Son Niyom, 69, the alleged driver of the songtaew has been brought in for questioning.
He is initially accused of having a weapon in public and issued with a 1,000 baht fine. The court also will confiscate the sword. He also faces the charge of being a public threat which could see him face up to one year in jail or face a 1,000 baht fine, or both. After investigation, he was also found to be guilty of cutting off the other vehicle, which could lead to more penalties.
Son has admitted to the charges and said that on the day of the incident he had one passenger in his vehicle who he was taking to Suan Dok Hospital. He claimed to have been cut off by the other vehicle and losing his temper he honked his horn, chased them and brandished his sword. He said that he saw that the driver was male and insisted that he would never have done it if it had been female. He said that it wasn’t him who started the altercation but accepted his part in it, apologised and will accept whatever the law dictates.
The Nakorn Lanna Co-op, which oversees all songtaew in Chiang Mai announced that they will investigate the matter and will give him a stern warning. The say that they will talk to all members of the co-op to instil proper driving etiquette.