new cycle law about riding in right lane

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by caveman, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. caveman

    caveman Member

    Today while riding on Rt 118 North out of Chiang Mai (the road to Chiang Rai) about 6-7 km north of Chiang Mai Festival Mall on the way to Doi Saket, I was stopped at an impromptu police checkpoint/road block. After checking my credentials, I was told I was breaking the law by riding on the right side of the road (there are 2 lanes in each direction here). This law is for ALL motorcycles regardless of size. Since laws tend to be contradictory and haphazard and are enforced in an even more haphazard fashion in Thailand, depending on the officer who pulls you over, I did not know what to think. Checking an unimpeachable source on validity of this “new law” (AJ of AJ’s Biker House), I was told that the “new gov’t” put this law in place for the whole country a couple months ago. :thumbdown: This law makes perfect sense in a western country with people obeying traffic laws and riding with consideration for others. HOWEVER, in Thailand, where vehicles ride with almost complete disregard for their own safety and the safety of others, this law will have catastrophic consequences if followed. As any rider with an active pulse is aware, vehicles will readily enter from the left and cut you off in a heartbeat. Adherence to this law on a large cycle would be suicidal. Definitely a good law for cycles 150cc and smaller, but for larger cycles, riding to the right allows more response time for the extremely inconsiderate way locals enter the roadway and cut you off. Violation costs 1000 baht. If you are intent on following the law, this is a problem of MAJOR proportions for larger cycle riders interested in simple safety. We need to do something to get this ill-considered law changed so as not to apply to larger cycles, but I would have no idea of how to go about it. Would enjoy hearing feedback and advice from riders on this forum.
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  3. monsterman

    monsterman Ol'Timer

    This law has been on the statute books for over 40 years its not new and is a pain in the butt ,, most people ignore it ,

    never paid more than 200 baht and only been hassled for it 3 times 20 years riding here ..
  4. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    I was first caught by this law in BKK in the mid 90's, still going on. I know where the Police pull people on the roads I regularly use so adjust my position (ride on the far left) prior to those areas.

    A few weeks ago I was caught Sunday morning riding back from Kanchanaburi. The Police man could see I wasn't a local with a scooter and rather than hold out his hand to stop me, gave me a big smile and an exaggerated slow-mo slap on my thigh as I rode past! :crazy:
  5. r136dg

    r136dg Active Member

    AJ's new government law???? He may be using to much paint. As said, it's been the law for a long time. Bummer to hear about it being enforced up here! They used to nail us down in Pattaya years ago turning onto Sukumvit. 200 baht a bike. Technically (I may be wrong) that lane is only supposed to be used for passing; but, you'd never know with all the busses using it 24/7. Generally, myself & most of the people I ride/rode with use the left lane, but road conditions & safety can change that in a heart beat. Lets hope they never enforce the motorcycle speed limit here!!!
    Yea the laws need a tune up. A lot of people are paying the big bucks for big inch (cc) bikes & I'm pretty sure a 100 HP, 1500cc bike would never be in anyones way through out the motorways of Bangkok.
    Ride safe!
  6. hawaiianbrians

    hawaiianbrians Ol'Timer

    This "law" has been around a long time and I have been "ticketed" for driving my car, truck, and bikes in the right lane. Usually a 200 baht donation, never more than 400 and I'm back on my way, I have even gotten change back before when my smallest bill was a 1000Baht note!

    A small price to pay for the joy of using Thailand's roads. I was always worried about losing my license in the USA for too many speeding tickets plus I paid more for one ticket there than I have paid in "tickets" in almost 10 years of riding and driving in Thailand so I stopped getting upset a long time ago! Sure am glad I am an expat.

    Stay Safe!

  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    So how much did you have to pay?

    BTW the law has been around for a long long time, next time you're driving down the highway look out for the blue signs with a motorbike on them, indicating motorcycles should keep to the left.
    Fortunately the law has not been enforced much at all in the North, but is in Bangkok, Pattaya & maybe Phuket.
    My guess is there is a new cop (transferred from Pattaya / Bkk?) in town looking to make money in his area.
    Good luck, but in all honesty the fine is probably peanuts - one to two big beers - & a small road tax to be able to enjoy the roads & riding that we do. Long may it stay the same.
  8. FaraGit

    FaraGit Ol'Timer

    I was collared this afternoon just outside fashion Min-Buri. I was forced to the right by a taxi driver. Police tried to get me to pay but I refused. Pointed to my helmet cam and he sent me to the top-dog of the day sitting in the shade. After a military style drawing in the dusty floor, he sent me on my way!
  9. CraigBKK

    CraigBKK Ol'Timer

    Had an interesting discussion over lunch today about the increased police searches that are occuring in central BKK at the moment, all seemingly targeted towards foreigners. I was told by one colleague that a friend was stopped by the police last week whilst actually sitting in a taxi (not outside/walking etc.) and charged with being drunk in public! 1,500THB fine.

    Even stranger is the fact by all acounts that the police don't appear to want bribing, more of a surge in stats!

    Time to keep your head low and get out of town for a while, let the heat blow over...
  10. FaraGit

    FaraGit Ol'Timer

    I can honestly say my experience with the police has been pretty good. I've been pulled over 3-4 times during my 10 years here, and as yet, never paid a fine after a chit-chat. One bobby stopped me as I wasn't wearing my seat belt and just told me to be careful. Be careful? That I find odd!

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