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Traffic violations In Thailand

One little known fact many foreigners don't know is that in Thailand you must be 18 years old before you can drive a car but only 15 to ride a motorbike and in fact it doesn't even say the size of the bike so it's perfectly legal for a 15 year old to be in control of 1200cc's! So if you're considering driving in Thailand you should understand the Thai driving laws not just the ones you obey but the ones everyone breaks.

The enforcement of Thai traffic laws or more likely their interpretation can be different all over the place. In places like Pattaya and Bangkok the rule is strictly enforced, sometimes they just write you one ticket and leave the passenger while other times they get you for both. If you have idea they might not let you take the bike, then after hours they will let you go. Be prepared for anything! It doesn't happen all the time but at one stage you'll get a shake down they will check your insurance, rego stickers, broken lights, modifications, they can ask for your passport or Thai drivers license and if you don't produce it they can detain you until one is produced.

The thing about not wearing a helmet in Thailand is the law is a joke, few years ago it was only 200 baht if you get fined, the price here in Chiang Mai at least is now 500 and you pay that to get your drivers license back. You could get a fine every single day for years and still keep your license this is why that's a joke. Drink driving is a serious offence and it might cost you 200 baht up to 20,000 baht even a night or two in jail. When you get out don't worry because you can drive home 🙂

Actually I'm pretty sure it's possible to kill someone with reckless driving and still be able to drive home. I remember years ago this guy who walked around Australia pushing a pram. Strange thing to do but geez that's a long way. Holidaying in Chiang Mai coming back from Spicy no doubt a motorbike side-cart came out of a side street the wrong way ploughed into him, long story short he dies. The guy driving the sidecart nothing happened to him next day he's still driving around.


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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.
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