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Thailand Rules of the Road

He, who is in front, has the right of way. Bigger fish have the right of way over smaller fish. The pecking order – 18-wheelers, trucks, buses, farm equipment, CRV/SUV, car, Baht bus, tuk-tuk, pedicab, motorcycle, motorcycle with food cart attachment, pedestrian. Crosswalks are merely white lines painted on the road and serve no other purpose. Painted lines to separate lanes serve the same purpose as crosswalks. Traffic light countdown timers tell you exactly how much time you have to run the red light.

Traffic police exist solely to wave their arms, blow whistles, and collect bribes. Minor traffic infractions – driving a motorcycle without a helmet, illegal turn – are 200 Baht fine – either to the traffic cop or after waiting 4 hours at the police station. Right turns on a red light start when the red countdown timer hits “10”. Stopping at a red light is optional when making a right turn. Pedestrians should look both ways 4 times before crossing a one-way street.

Sidewalks are alternate routes for motorcycles. Pedestrians are allowed to cross streets one lane at a time, pausing on white-line lane dividers. Every driver and pedestrian is protected by Buddha. Maximum amount of riders on a motorcycle is 5. If a foreigner is in a taxi, and the taxi gets into an accident, it is the foreign passenger’s fault. If a foreign driver gets in an accident with a Thai, it is the foreigner’s fault, regardless. A fine for a major accident will be directly proportionate to how much money you have in your wallet and savings account. Driving drunk on wet, slippery roads is authorized during the Songkran holiday (Thai New Year).


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