Police are urging motorists to comply with traffic regulations during the Lao New Year period in a bid to maintain safety and reduce traffic accidents during the festival.
A notice issued by the Traffic Police Department, under the Ministry of Public Security, outlines eight traffic regulations that motorists should pay special attention to during the Lao New Year period.
According to the notice, drivers of all vehicles must respect and strictly follow all road rules, while any vehicle driving on Lao roads must be roadworthy and in good condition.
Motorcyclists have been told to ensure both driver and passenger wear safety helmets, while long-haul cargo trucks must ensure a backup driver is always available.
Any driver found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be detained by the traffic police to be educated and will only be released to their relatives or friends once they are sober.
Drivers may not go beyond 120 kilometers per hour, and ensure a minimum speed of 80 kilometers per hour on the Vientiane-Vang Vieng Expressway. Parking on the expressway is only allowed in the event of a vehicle breakdown; otherwise, it is strictly prohibited.
Motorists must comply with the speed limit posted on traffic signs or as stipulated by law and must not exceed it, while motorcycle riders should ensure they do not impede traffic flow while riding and must adhere to using designated motorcycle lanes at all times.
Passengers may not sit on the edges of the tray of a pickup truck while the vehicle is moving, and parents must not allow underage children to drive vehicles, according to the notice.
Police say that anyone who breaches these rules will receive a fine and a warning strictly in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations.
The Lao New Year festival will run from 14 to 18 April this year, with the Lao government approving two substitution days.