Thai People Are Bad Drivers
Thai People can't drive. That's basically what Thailand wants to do is tell the world that when they come to Thailand expect to encounter motorists who don't stop at a red light. The Nation recently published this article about how one acadamic believes handbooks should be handed out to tourists informing them of how bad Thai drivers are.
The ridiculousness of the argument in the article by the Nation that tourists should be warned about Thai drivers when they arrive is absurd. How many tourists does Thailand get a year, say 20million? And there are about 40 million people who drive a vehicle in Thailand bikes, scooters, cars etc I'm just guessing that number but it can't be that wrong.
So in two years you would have educated more tourists about Thai driving habits and educated not one single Thai person how to operate a vehicle safely. It just boggles the mind what so called academics can come up with.
I've gone and got the Thai license and I did it in Thai so I know exactly what the Thai's get taught and they don't get taught didly. In fact I asked the guy if I was on a roundabout and wanted to exit do I need to use the blinker he said "No, you don't have to indicate, exit when you can". Further pressed I asked him if it were a three lane round about do I need to indicate? Again he said no it's not necessary.
The government could create a thriving industry in Thailand creating thousands of jobs by forcing Thai's to take driver lessens and defensive driving courses. Is that beauracracy, sure, but it's a hell of a lot better than telling the world to accept how dangerous Thai people drive.
Maybe that's not the answer and maybe the problems go further than basic training for Thai drivers. Take for example the road conditions the lack of road signs and the crazy laws and bendable laws as well. I know several Thai's who have killed people on the roads didn't do any jail time nor did they lose their license. In fact if you get caught driving without a license it's only a 200 baht fine anyway. Does the acadamic who came up with the tourist driving guide think they should put this bit if information in the booklet as well?
I'm not the only one who thinks this is a stupid idea either. A blogger at Bangkok Post also thinks the idea is completely insane. Here's a quote from his post.
Are experts basically saying we should greet all visitors at Suvarnabhumi with a guide that says, "Welcome to Thailand! We drive like crap, have a pleasant (and bumpy) stay!"? What content would this handbook entail anyway? Would it read something like, "Chapter 1: What to do when you see a motorcyclist driving on the sidewalk or coming down the wrong side of the road"? Or perhaps, "Chapter 2: 'Do you know who my daddy is' and other useful phrases on Thai roads"?
This blogger has a good point. I mean should you really have to prepare yourself for an unlicened driver of an illegal side cart coming out the wrong way of a one way street half cut slamming into you wiping you out and if you survive you get no compensation because the guy has 2 baht to his name. How do you write that into a handbook?
According to the following video from a Thai station in the USA, Amenians are worse than Thai drivers, this Thai girl explains how her sister was ran over by an Armenian-American who sped through a red light and killed her sister. Reason why I mention this video is because it just goes to show that doesn't matter where you are in the world you're going to find crazy drivers, moreso in Thailand but I don't think anyone needs a handbook.