Land Traffic Act B.E. 2562 (2019)
The new Land Traffic Act B.E. 2562 (2019), which cancels certain provisions of the old Act, took effect on September 20, 2019. Here are some new laws:
The police cannot temporarily confiscate a driver’s licence no matter what the traffic violation. Drivers are required to always carry their original licence and present it to a police officer upon request.
Another change allows drivers to carry a “digital driver’s licence” instead of a physical one. A digital licence can be a photographic image or be drawn from the Department of Land Transport’s app, “DLT QR Licence”.
If a motorist who violates a traffic law cannot be located, the police officer is not required to attach a ticket to the vehicle. The ticket will be sent together with evidence of the violation by registered post to the address of vehicle owner with a return payment requested. The owner must pay the fine within the time specified on the ticket.
If motorists have refused to pay a fine, when they pay their annual vehicle tax the DLT will only issue a temporary tax payment receipt, which can be used for just 30 days. The violator will receive a fully legitimate tax payment receipt only after the fine is paid. Should the temporary tax payment receipt expire before the fine is paid, the motorist will be deemed guilty of not presenting evidence of the annual tax payment, which makes him or her liable to a fine not exceeding 2,000 baht.
Also under the new laws, drivers who commit traffic violations will be under a 12-point system. Losing all 12 points results in licence suspension for 90 days. After three suspensions the suspension period is increased to one year. For example, depending on severity of the offence up to four points can be deducted. Minor offences like failure to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle or seat belt in a car, or not paying a traffic fine will result in the deduction of one point.
Unlike many countries, in Thailand volunteer teams are often at the scene of traffic accidents or crimes with casualties before fully equipped ambulances arrive.
With sirens blaring and lights flashing, Bangkok’s rescuers racing through traffic to a road accident or other emergencies and take injured people to hospitals and corpses to temples for funeral. Different rescue organizations operate in Bangkok and in the provinces. They are usually first on the scene of disaster and come in a variety of vehicles. The rescuers collect corpses and also treat injured people on the spot and take them to the hospital.
In the past, clashes between different rescue groups, then called ‘body snatchers’ were common, and this caused the rescuers to receive a lot of bad publicity from local and foreign media. The situation has changed, however, and rescue teams are now well trained and equipped for any emergency.