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Thailand to Fine Motorists for Using Mobile Phones While Driving

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Thailand to Fine Motorists for Using Mobile Phones While Driving

Motorists using mobile phones while driving in Thailand must now use hands-free devices linked through wireless or BlueTooth or face a fine, government spokesperson Tipanan Sirichana cautioned on Friday.

Ms. Tipanan stated that making hands-free connections necessary is meant to decrease accidents, injuries, and deaths caused by motorists using mobile phones while driving.

The Royal Thai Police Office published an announcement on October 7 under Section 43 (9) of the Land Traffic Act of 1979, which prohibits drivers from using a telephone or a communication radio, save with auxiliary equipment to allow them to converse without holding the phone, she added.

Drivers are permitted to use mobile phones while behind the wheel if they have a wireless connection device or a speaker phone attached, so they do not have to hold the phone.

The wireless connector must be installed in the vehicle’s front and not block the driver’s view. A driver who has to manually operate a cell phone must first park the car.

Infringers face fines ranging from 400 to 1,000 baht.

traffic fines thailand

Thailand’s New Traffic Rules

Despite the new traffic laws going into effect on September 5, police have opted to be indulgent for the first three months to provide Thais time to acclimate or improve their road conduct.

“For the first three months, we will fine traffic offenders based on the rates utilized since 2020,” said Pol General Preecha Charoensahayanont, deputy head of the Royal Thai Police Traffic Management Center. “During this time, we will also raise public knowledge of the new laws,” he added.

Instead of hitting a speeding driver with the new 4,000-baht maximum charge, traffic officers will give 500-baht fines during the grace period.

More severe traffic penalties

Running through a red light or failing to stop your vehicle for pedestrians at a zebra crossing now carries a maximum fine of 4,000 baht, up from 1,000 baht under the old legislation.

On the other hand, driving in traffic and failing to wear a crash helmet or safety belt carries a maximum fine of 2,000 baht, a fourfold increase from 500 baht.

Those found guilty of driving without regard for the safety or lives of others face a fine ranging from 5,000 to 20,000 baht and/or up to a year in jail. Penalties range from a maximum of three months in prison and a fine of 2,000 to 10,000 baht.

The new legislation makes drunk driving a particularly serious offence. Drunk drivers who are convicted face fines of up to 20,000 baht and/or a one-year prison sentence.

If they commit the same infraction within two years of their first, the resultant fine will include a mandatory jail term. The fine can be up to 100,000 baht, and the jail term can be up to two years.

“In terms of double punishment for repeat offenders, we will acknowledge the first infraction beginning September 5 this year,” Preecha added.

traffic fines thailand

New Fines of Traffic Crimes.

The new traffic legislation also includes a broader range of violations. Previously, passengers in the back seats were not required to wear seat belts. Failure to do so, however, is punishable by a maximum fine of 2,000 baht under the new rule.

Preparing for a road race is also now a crime. Gathering on a public road with at least five illegally modified automobiles or preparing for a road race is punishable by up to three months in prison and/or a fine ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 baht.

Garages detected modifying cars for road racing will be deemed accomplices. They will receive two-thirds of the penalty for road racing, which is punishable by up to three months in prison and/or a 5,000-10,000 baht fine.

Child car seats are not yet required.

For the time being, Thailand has chosen not to implement a child car-seat rule, citing the need for officials to develop guidelines on what can be used to protect young passengers if car seats cannot be installed.

The car-seat rule is set to take effect later this year.

traffic fines thailand

Pay the fine or Appear in Court.

At the moment, motorists can contest traffic tickets in subdistrict courts. However, the procedure is rather complex.

According to Pol Maj-General Ekarak Limsangkad, who helped develop the Traffic Bill, it will be simplified once it is passed.

Thai Cabinet has already approved the draft bill, which the Council of State is now reviewing with the government’s legal experts.

“According to the bill, a traffic cop who loses a judicial appeal will face disciplinary action.” “Traffic cops will be more cautious about issuing tickets this way,” Ekarak explained.

Statistics on road fatalities

So far this year, vehicle accidents have killed 10,186 people and injured 634,680 more. Most of the accidents involved motorcycles, and most of the victims were riders.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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