If you ride a motor bike in Pattaya and your caught by the Police riding without a helmet or International Licence, you will be fined 400 Baht.
FINES IN A NUTSHELL
- YOU WILL BE FINED FOR NOT WEARING A HELMET
- YOU WILL BE FINED FOR NOT HAVING A INTERNATIONAL LICENCE
- YOU WILL BE FINED IF BIKE’S REGO HAS EXPIRED
- YOU WILL BE FINED IF YOU ARE NOT INSURED AS BIKE OWNER
ARE POLICE CHECKS NECESSARY?
The Pattaya Police take their job pretty seriously when it comes to fining tourist for traffic violations, but are they doing the right thing by the tourist?
Well like most things, it’s a matter of opinion.
Some say yes, some say no, but the bottom line is, hundreds of unlicensed tourist that ride motor bikes in Pattaya get hurt, injured or worse still – hurt someone else in motor bike accidents, every year in Pattaya, a small number of tourist die from their injuries from motorbike accidents.
IF YOU CAN’T RIDE – DON’T RENT
I have seen hundreds of tourists (in my time here), on a motor bike, that have absolutely no control over the machine what so ever, trying to navigate down the road, swerving and darting about like crazy, a real danger to themselves and others, I for one am happy when the police get them off the streets for a few hours.
The streets of Pattaya are no place to learn ride a scooter or motorbike for the first time.
POLICE CHECKPOINT OR POLICE TRAP?
Every couple of days there will be a Police check point somewhere in Pattaya where Police will pull over anyone riding a motor bike without a helmet and carry out random or blanket licence, registration and insurance checks on all motorbikes they can pull over.
Failing to have a helmet, international licence or correct documentation will result in the confiscation of your keys or licence and an on the spot fine that will have to be paid at the Police station at Soi 9 Beach Rd, a fine from anywhere between 100-1000 Baht and an average fine of 400 Baht.
With up to 1,000 fines handed out most days, you can see its a very profitable business model.
MOTOR BIKE TAXI’S CASH IN ON THE ACTION
Motor bike taxi’s usually work together with police and will ferry disorientated tourists to the police station for 200 baht, where you have to pay the fine and then back again to the police check point to show the fine receipt and the return of your keys and licence so you can be on your way again.
IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE
Unfortunately many tourists come to Pattaya and think Thai laws don’t apply to them and they can do whatever they want only to discover that Thai Law enforcement officers will enforce the law, some tourist insist on making a scene out of being pulled over for breaking Thai road rules and getting caught for it, then getting into heated arguments that they can’t win, this will costs them more in the end than if they had just spoken to Police courteously and copped it sweet by admitting to themselves that they are in the wrong.
AVOIDING MOTORBIKE FINES CHECKLIST
- Always wear a helmet and make sure your passenger wears one as well.
- Have a International drivers licence in your possession before leaving home and carry it with you when you are riding a motorbike in Thailand. A licence from your home country may work 50% of the time, the other 50% of the time will cost you a fine. If you have a Thai licence, you won’t have any problems.
- Make sure the bike you have rented or are riding has a current registration sticker and insurance.
- If you own the bike, a copy of your green book is also handy.
- Speak respectfully and friendly if pulled over.
Basically this is all Police check for and with a little preparation in advance you will avoid the fines and delays that lots of tourist experience who don’t prepare.
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