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Buckle up or get fined, warn Phuket Traffic Police

PHUKET: Traffic Police in Phuket have confirmed that they have started warning passengers to wear seatbelts in all vehicles, including taxis and vans, following the new law brought into effect today (April 5).

transport, accidents, police,

The Phuket News

Wednesday 5 April 2017, 07:47PM

Phuket Traffic Police have started warning passengers to wear their seatbelts, or else be fined. Photo: The Phuket News / file
Phuket Traffic Police have started warning passengers to wear their seatbelts, or else be fined. Photo: The Phuket News / file

“Today (April 5) is the first day of the new seat belt law enforcement in Phuket, and Thailand,” Lt Col Jirawat Laemsuwan, Deputy Chief of Phuket City Traffic Police, told The Phuket News today.

Traffic Police officers have been advised to issue warnings first, Col Jirawat explained.

“But the decision of whether or not to issue (a passenger) a fine for not wearing a seatbelt remains with the officer involved. They can if they want to,” he warned.

The fine for passengers not wearing seatbelts in small vehicles, such as car, pickup trucks and taxis, is not more than B500, Col Jirawat noted.

“The fine is the same as a driver not wearing a seatbelt in any vehicle,” he added.

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However, Col Jirawat cautioned, “Passengers in vans and tour vehicles can be fined up to B5,000.”

However, Col Jirawat added, “The law does not apply to any vehicles registered before 1994 as seatbelts were not required by law to be fitted in the back seats of cars at that time.”

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha introduced the new law last month (Mar 21) through the broad-ranging powers of Article 44 of the interim Constitution. (See story here.)

The law follows a horrific accident in which 25 people were killed when a fatigued van driver ploughed into a truck in Chonburi province during the New Year holidays.



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Skeptik | 06 April 2017 - 21:40:55

Curiously the accident that claimed 25 lives in Chonburi included numerous pick up passengers in the truck bed which are not required to wear a seat belt under the newly 'enforced law'. 
Quote from the the Chief of the Phuket Land and Transport Office (PLTO) “Passengers in public transportation vehicles such as tuk-tuks and songthaew (trucks or pickups converted to carry passengers) are not required to wear seatbelts as these vehicles are not installed with seatbelts for the back passengers.
Such stupidity beggars belief. God forbid that any Thai citizen be forced to spend money to comply with the law...of Thailand.... Confused.

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Paul Stardust | 06 April 2017 - 17:22:40

@Hounddog456 the sign should read tourists and their opinions not welcome in Phuket. Tourist money very welcome.

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Paul Stardust | 06 April 2017 - 17:21:24

Seat belts would not have made the slightest bit of difference in the horrific accident in which 25 people were killed when a fatigued van driver ploughed into a truck in Chonburi province during the New Year holidays.

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Jome | 06 April 2017 - 16:09:46

So all the Myanmar construction worker pay 500 bath fine in the morning and in the evening when they are carried from the camp to the construction site.....or the construction company buys airconditioned busses with seat belts......

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Hounddog456 | 06 April 2017 - 14:38:09

So Thai person 0to 500bt fine tourist 5000bt fine. Why not save some time and put up a sign saying tourists not welcome in Phuket 

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CaptainJack69 | 06 April 2017 - 12:10:58

The obvious question that will come up here is "what about people in the back of pick-up trucks" and the answer is (as is being discussed with much fervor on Thai social media) that the authorities will now be enforcing the already long standing law that it is illegal for people to travel in the back of pick-up trucks. It's also illegal for people to sit on the rear bench in those "half-cab" style pick-ups as they don't have seat-belts.

According to the Thai news the police are busy enforcing these "new rules" as of today.

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Kurt | 06 April 2017 - 11:54:24

Fine, fines, fines. Just good for a laugh.
The fine system is hopeless outdated, if not called 'pre historic'.
Fines only work when they are that high that a motorist think twice before he/she violate the traffic laws.
Which motorist cares about a fine of 200 thb, 500 thb?
They not feel it in their wallets, just feel it as 'bad luck'.
Traffic fines should start at level of 2000 thb.
Confiscating motorbikes/cars should be considered, with possibility people can buy back their motorbike/car by paying the day value, if violation of the traffic law is very serious.
With the present 'system' nothing will change for the better.

Number of casualties coming week will be same or worse as last year.
Mark my words.
More cars on the road, more people unbuckled in the back of pick up cars, more cars on the road without done the periodic service check ups ( no money for it, or not feel the need to do).

Well, from yesterday a new law with old fines without impact. Hahaha.

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Rorii | 06 April 2017 - 10:34:03

It's not the seatbelts that should be the issue, people die whether they wear them or not, granted they can save lives, they can also trap someone in a vehicle and be a cause to lose your life. The issue should be on accident prevention, but this is too hard to enforce, easier, read revenue, to make seatbelts the issue.

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Pauly44 | 06 April 2017 - 07:23:37

While I always wear my seat belt, it's not because I have to or I'll be fined, it's because I value my life and use common sense. It should be up to the occupants if they choose to wear seat belts or not and die or not on Thailand's roads the same as wearing bike helmets, it's another "opportunity" for the BIB's to cash in as there is no genuine wish to keep citizens safe, why don't they do real police work and chase down speeding & reckless drivers & actually enforce speed limits, catch red light runners, ghost riders and so on...?? But I suppose that would take real effort..That should be a priority over enforcing wearing your seatbelt at checkpoints. I can think of many so called laws that are ridiculous & miss the mark, the buying of alcohol between certain times, curfew time on tourist nightspots, beach chair fiasco etc. They appear to only enforce what is easy for them to control &/or profit from, it just doesn't make sense sometimes.

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ppfarang | 05 April 2017 - 21:47:32

If they can't spot people not wearing helmets on Bikes how are they going to see people not wearing seat belts. As with all laws it will fizzle out and everything will go back to normal. Sadly

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