Thai traffic rules
Dear Chiang Mai Mail;
When I am riding my motorbike with my Thai lady on the back, I notice that
the traffic laws in Thailand, according to my Thai lady, are different to
Europe. Maybe this is what causes the high number of accidents.
Red light. For me this means stop and wait in they queue with the other
traffic until the green light appears. My Thai lady says: Can go. Never
mind. She gets angry when I sit and wait in the queue, saying motorbikes are
allowed to push to the front of the queue and turn onto Sukhumvit/other
road, regardless of the light/traffic.
Thick white line in middle of the road - no crossing this line to overtake
in Europe. My Thai lady says: Can overtake - never mind.
One way streets. In Europe these are one way. Other way cannot use. My Thai
lady says never mind, motorbike can go.
Any Road: motorised food vendors - Not allowed in Europe. Here an absolute
pain in the butt. They stop anywhere, drive slowly, slow the traffic.
Priority - Is it Priority to the right, to the left, to the oncoming
traffic. Not very clear.
Helmet - Europe. Need helmet every journey. My Thai lady says: Never mind,
not far, no have police check, not need.
I think what is needed is more education of motorists and driving lessons in
schools before age of 16 (many leave after that), and more stringent
controls of people who break the rules.
Maybe these differences between Thai and foreign motoring laws are what
cause the accidents.
Ed’s Note: We assume the above to be a parody, as none of
these differences actually exist, legally. You must stop at red lights, you
must wear a helmet at all times when riding a motorcycle, etc., and just
because a few local riders choose to put their lives in danger by ignoring
both common sense and the law does not mean everyone should do this. Matthew
is correct in stating that more education is needed.
About respect and rules
All the time I hear farangs on permanent vacation complaining about having
to deal with the reality of life in Thailand. “Dutchie” wants the people at
the immigration office to show him respect even though he showed them the
disrespect by showing up in their workplace wearing some sleeveless 100 baht
T-shirt. He acts surprised when they ask him to leave and try again. I
wonder if “Dutchie” would wear the same shirt to conduct official business
in his own country. No, probably not. Even though there would be no
published dress code requirements he would have the common sense to know
better. The only respect that was lost in the immigration office “Dutchie”
was your self respect.