CHIANG RAI – Motorists in Chiang Rai and the rest of Thailand will be prohibited from using hand-held cell phones while driving starting today onwards.
The new law, which comes into effect today, came after police found a number of drivers attached their mobile phones to the steering wheel in order to be able to text or chat while driving. Officers from 88 stations will patrol the streets and monitor CCTV footage for offenders.
Violators will be fined between 400 to 1,000 baht and tickets will be mailed to their homes.
Police noted that the law allows only the use of hands-free phones for talking. Texting or talking on the phone is one of the factors contributing to distracted driving, which is when the driver’s attention is diverted away from the primary task of driving. A number of countries ban all cell phone use while driving including Australia, Canada, Germany, and the United States.