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Foreign tourists face strict curbs on driving into Thailand

Foreign tourists will be banned from driving motorcycles and motor homes into Thailand as part of measures to control an influx of foreign vehicles onto Thai roads, particularly in the North.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 15 March 2016, 08:59AM

A welcome sign is shown on a coach serving tourists in Chiang Mai. (Bangkok Post file photo)

A welcome sign is shown on a coach serving tourists in Chiang Mai. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The vehicles present problems in terms of frequent accidents and ecological harm, Land Transport Department chief Sanit Phromwong said yesterday (Mar 14), adding the ban is meant to enforce order and allow only some types of vehicles to travel in certain areas for particular periods of time.

The order will also prohibit people who have not made prior agreements on car usage abroad from driving cars into Thailand from China, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam, according to transport officials.

Many Chinese tourists like to drive their cars into Thailand but that will not happen in the future, Mr Sanit said.

Only vehicles with a total of nine seats and pickup trucks with a maximum weight of 3,500kg will be allowed to travel in Thailand. Motorists also need to seek permission and have their vehicles checked by authorities, he said.

They are required to make requests to drive in Thailand through Thai tourism operators at least 10 days prior to their their trips, Mr Sanit said.

Transport officials overseeing provinces bordering their countries will consider whether to grant them permission cards.

The cards must be displayed inside the vehicles where they can easily be spotted by Thai officials, Mr Sanit said. The cards will cost B500 and there will be a B500 fee. Vehicles will be allowed to travel only in those provinces through which they enter and they will be allowed on Thai roads for 30 days each trip.

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The total permitted period cannot exceed 60 days in one year, Mr Sanit added. The controls will be imposed via ministerial regulations.

In its bid to regulate foreign vehicles more strictly, the Land Transport Department is also sharing information about them with other state agencies through a computer network.

This will allow customs officials to keep checks on the vehicles, especially to determine whether the drivers overstay the permitted driving period, Mr Sanit said.

If foreign visitors are found to have broken any law, whether or not they are related to transport, the mistakes will be recorded and sent to transport officials to consider if they should be allowed to re-enter Thailand in the future, he added.

The regulations will not be applied to vehicles from Laos, Malaysia and Singapore with which Thailand has pacts on international car usage.

Read original story here.



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Discover Thainess | 30 June 2018 - 18:12:12

It’s all about the money; these tourists likely buy cheap food in 7-11 and sleep in their RVs, so no money paid to hotels, restaurants, taxis etc. environmental damage? Nonsense .....

jogi | 16 March 2016 - 15:57:03

what will stop this lawmakers who live in there Thai bubble from there law producing Diarrhoea.  about people who enter Thailand by RV's and motorcycles. (we are talking about tourists from AEC country's)permission 10 day's prior entering Thailand.vehicle card B500.- fee 500.- Transport dept. chief  sure mean economical, not ecological harm. no  vehicle rental, no money for taxi (mafia...

TTT TonyTheTiger | 15 March 2016 - 12:01:34

Hey, this is great for tourism.  Should ban all the Thai underage drivers, those without exhaust suppression, and all other license less drivers.  Oh, and don't forget the night drivers with no lights.

Kurt | 15 March 2016 - 09:19:34

One would expect that countries who are member of AEC are going to relax international traffic between countries.
Thailand seems to move the opposite way.

"foreign tourists have to require 10 days in advance prior their trip through Thai tourist operators" (???)
Are Thai tourist operators Thai government officials/authorities?

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