Legal Issues in Thailand
Penalties and Fines for Traffic Violations
Traffic violations and fines in Thailand can be tricky and have changed over the recent years with increased fines and possible jail time. Police are now cracking down on motorists, especially tourists, who violate local traffic laws. When driving a motorcycle in Thailand, you are expected to possess a valid international driver’s license (IDL), wear a helmet, and know and obey local traffic laws.
What do I do when pulled over in Thailand?
The most important General Rule to remember when speaking to a police officer, or anyone, is to remain calm, focus on resolving the interaction, and avoid aggressive behavior – this includes raising your voice. Thai Police are not intimidated, and any aggression on your part will most likely not land you in a favorable position.
Provide the officer with the requested documentation. This can include a passport, driver/s license, or “other” documentation. If they request to search your motorcycle/vehicle, it is advised that you allow them without objection. Typically they are looking for contraband, including illegal drugs or restricted items such as e-cigarettes.
If you are cited a ticket, the officer may request that you pay the fine at the police station. Typically, there will be a police box or station within walking distance, or the officer may ask you to follow him on your motorcycle to the nearest police station. Make sure that you receive a receipt of payment once you pay the fine.
Common Traffic Offenses
X Drunk Driving: 5,000 – 20,000 ฿ for 1st offense. A second offense within 2 years can be a fine of 50,000 – 100,000 and up to 2 years in prison.
X Speeding: 4,000 ฿
X Running a red light: 4,000 ฿
X Not stopping at the pedestrian crossing: 4,000 ฿
X Not Wearing Helmet/Seatbelt: 2,000 ฿
X Reckless Driving: 5,000 – 20,000 ฿ and possible jail time
X Talking in Phone: 2,000 ฿
X Parking Illegally: 500 – 5,000 ฿ (depending on the level of violation)