The transfer orders were signed by national police chief Gen Chakthip Chaijinda. It came into effect on Thursday (Apr 19) and was leaked to the public yesterday (Apr 20).
The four senior officers are Bung Kan police chief Maj Gen Thiwa Bundamnern, Phetchabun police commander Maj Gen Sant Phoraksa, Amnat Charoen police chief Maj Gen Tawai Buranarak, and Saraburi police commander Maj Gen Chairat Thipayachan.
Gen Chakthip said more transfers should be expected.
Road safety was a top priority during the holiday and those who are not up to the job knew they would face severe consequences, he said.
Their transfers were prompted by poor road safety records in their provinces during previous Songkran holidays, he added.
Gen Chakthip did not go into details of how many accidents or fatalities were recorded in their respective provinces during the so-called “seven dangerous days of Songkran”. The festival ran from April 11-17.
“There will be a wave of transfers if we find they failed to ensure adequate road safety. Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has stressed the importance of this throughout the year,” he said.
He said he informed senior police officers personally that road safety must be considered a top priority during Songkran.
“I’ve looked at the road accident figures and they are two or three times higher [than we expected],” he said.
Asked whether he thought the transfer orders would demoralise other officers, he said it is part of the job.
Some of those facing transfers were classmates of his at the police academy, he added.
Some 418 people died on the roads or later in hospital over the seven dangerous days of Songkran, up 7% from 2017, according to the Road Safety Centre.
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