Driving Rules and Regulations in Thailand
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When you use a car rental in Thailand, keep in mind that some traffic rules may differ from those in your own country. Here are some things you need to remember:
1. Traffic in Thailand drives on the left hand side of the road.
2. Drivers must obey all traffic light signals. In most cases, turning left at a traffic light showing red is permitted, but you must give way to traffic from your right.
3. You are required to carry a valid driving license whenever you drive.
4. Seat belts are mandatory for car drivers and front seat passengers.
5. Distances are marked in kilometers. The urban speed limit is 60 km/h and on country roads and expressways it varies from 90 to 120 km/h. Police occasionally set speed check point on the major routes.
6. In Thailand, yellow light running is equivalent to red light running, so it will incur a penalty. When the traffic light turns yellow, if a vehicle still drives across the stop line, it will be regarded as running a red light. While if the vehicle has crossed the stop line when the yellow light is on, you can continue to drive across.
7. Flashing of headlights by other vehicles is a warning signal meaning as"get out of my way" or let you know they are there, but does not mean"you may make your manoeuvre", as it does in some Western countries.
8. Drivers of larger vehicles may assume that smaller vehicles will give way.
9. Always check for motorbikes when opening car doors on the side of the road, as they frequently ride along the space between the road and the pavement.
10. A frequently-used method of warning road users of a breakdown in the road ahead is to cover the road with tree branches.
11. The police make random road checks and if you are found to be committing an offence you will be subject to an on-the-spot fine. When dealing with the police, always be polite and respectful. You will get nowhere by raising your voice or arguing.
12. As with most countries around the world, drink driving is illegal in Thailand. Once you drink driving, the insurance of the vehicle will be invalid.
Don't worry ! Most of road signage in Thailand follows international convention and which are in both Thai and English.But some of them you still need to remember carefully!
Stop: You must bring your vehicle to a halt. Only when you see that the way is clear and safe should you proceed with caution.
Give way: You must proceed with care and give way to vehicles and pedestrians crossing ahead. Only when you see that the way is safe and clear of traffic on the crossroads should you proceed with caution.
Priority to vehicles from the opposite direction: You must stop at the sign to let the vehicles coming from the opposite direction pass first. If there are vehicles stopped in front, you muststop behind the sign. Only when the vehicles coming from the opposite direction have passed can you proceed.
No passing: Do not overtake other vehicles with in this restricted zone.
If you are parked in the wrong place or exceed the time allowed, then it is normal for a parking ticket to be issued. The fine for this will need to be paid at the police station. Occasionally you may find that the car has been clamped. This is also done by the local authorities and you will need to contact the local police station. When the fine has been paid a police officer will remove the clamp.
You need to pay attention to the painted markings on the road side. There are different colors for different regulations. Red and white markings on the curb indicate that parking is not permitted at any time. If the markings are yellow and white this means that you can only stop for a few minutes, usually to pickup or drop off. It should be noted that yellow and white can also indicate a bus stop, so it is advised to avoid parking there at all if possible.
If there is a white rectangle painted on the road then this is a designated parking space and it can be used, subject to any time constraints indicated on the signs. If there are diagonal white lines painted on the road then this indicates that only motorcycles have the right to park there.