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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Give way. Left or right?

    I say, if you drive on the left you give way to traffic from the right. But according to some expats, you give way to the left in Thailand. They quote 'Section 71 of the Thai traffic laws' they then say it's from the right only at roundabouts.

    Anyone on here give way to the left?

    If two vehicles enter a junction from different directions at the same time, the vehicle on the left side has a right of way, except when there’s a designation of “principle roadway in which case the vehicle on the principle roadway has a right of way.

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    I give way to the counts flashing their lights.

    Those folk are right though, in Thailand you give way to those on your left

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Have a look at this, especially the range of responsibility. Nuts

    Traffic rules in Thailand and how to avoid traffic accidents

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    Anyone on here give way to the left?
    Not me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    I say, if you drive on the left you give way to traffic from the right.
    So do I.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    at roundabouts.
    Definitely true as the signs on the roundabouts say it specifically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    in Thailand you give way to those on your left
    Maybe that explains why the counts never look right when turning left from a side street on your left?!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dillinger View Post
    in Thailand you give way to those on your left
    I thought it was "give way to cars with badges, then logging trucks, then expensive cars, then anyone who is 5mm ahead of you on the left or right."

  5. #5
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    Believe it's give way to the left, but main roads or bigger roads have right of way, even out my way there are bigger dirt tracks and smaller motorbike trails, bigger has right of way.

    Roundabouts, you don't give way to the right, you have to give way to anyone who is already in the roundabout, may seem strange, but international road codes say even if the guy was driving on the wrong side, wrong way around the roundabout it's your fault.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    thought it was "give way to cars with badges, then logging trucks, then expensive cars, then anyone who is 5mm ahead of you on the left or right.
    Youre learningHave a look at that link above, its mental....

    Here, nicked some of it. It's quite extensive


    How is Thai traffic different?1. Range of Responsibility

    The most important factor that influences[at]all[at]Thai traffic behaviour is what I call a Thai driver’s ‘Range of Responsibility’. A Thai driver’s Range of Responsibility is what he2[at](should) pay attention to in Thai-style, basically it's all that appears in his eyesight without turning his head, so we’re talking about an angle of roughly 90-140 degrees in front of the vehicle.


    The average Thai driver's span of attention is only in front of him without turning his head.
    This is implicitly understood to be his Range of Responsibility.

    So, while an international driver's Range of Responsibility is 360 degrees, the Thai driver's practical Range or Responsibility is at most about half of that.

    According to international traffic rules, you have to[at]check your mirrors[at]and do a[at]shoulder check[at]when you change lanes, make a turn or in other circumstances, but because Thai people are inherently lazy, most of them fail to do that consistently. And because most Thai people don’t make sufficient use of mirrors and shoulder check, there is an implicit collective understanding that a driver’s main (or even only) responsibility rests within the span of his eyesight in front of him, his Range of Responsibility.

    To put it simple, everyone basically cares (mostly) about what is in front and as far as the corners of the eyes can see, almost without turning a head.

    Does that work? Well, it works in many cases and in a way it could be an efficient way to deal with traffic but the one disadvantage this lazy system has is that it doesn’t sufficiently cover the so-called[at]blind angle[at](or blind spot) that is located somewhere behind you and at your sides, so this becomes a grey area between the driver in front and the one in the blind angle and thus creates a risk for accidents to happen.



    Because most Thai drivers neglect a shoulder check (and many also forget to check mirrors),
    there are often huge areas uncovered by their attention, especially the blind angles / blind spots.

    BECAUSE THE RANGE OF RESPONSIBILITY IS THAI TRAFFIC'S MAIN "RULE"
    IT INFLUENCES ALL, GOOD AND BAD

    Because of the Range of Responsibility is a Thai driver's implicit leading principle,[at]everything else depends on it. It almost doesn't matter who's right or wrong according to the official rules, in practice everyone acts according to this principle.


    No matter how irresponsible driver B drives, he is within driver A's Range of Responsibility
    so it's driver A that should heed driver B, according to Thai traffic "rules".

    For example, you could make signs that you want to move sideways from one lane to another or make strange movements and you'll find, to your surprise perhaps, that someone behind you is waiting for you to cross lanes, even though according to international rules you were supposed to wait for the person behind to pass you first or even though you are acting wrongly according to the real rules.

    "You're in my sight so I adapt to you"[at]is the practical solution that Thai traffic society has adopted.

    Another example is that Thai drivers tend to overtake someone just before a turn, which in international context doesn’t make sense, creates dangerous situations and also obstructs the flow of traffic, but it does make sense in Thai context because when driver B suddenly appears in front of driver A, it means that now driver A has to take driver B into account because B is in A’s Range of Responsibility.


    Cutting someone else's way is very common in Thailand. It's irresponsible from international perspective but "understandable" in Thai context because as soon as you appear in someone else's Range of Responsibility, he should heed you, even if you drive irresponsibly.

    I believe that even the Thai police and Thai insurance companies make (implicit or explicit) assessments based on a driver’s Range of Responsibility, so that some accidents are blamed on the person behind while in an international context that person would have been right.

    So the Range of Responsibility is really important and it actually conflicts with international traffic rules as you’re probably used to.

    2. Adapt to each other rather than follow rules

    Another important implicit feature of Thai traffic behaviour which has everything to do with Thai culture is that Thai drivers continuously adapt to each other rather than rely on real traffic rules. In other words, it’s more important to watch and adapt than to trust and follow the rules.

    This collective implicit understanding in Thai traffic actually made me fail my Hong Kong motorcycle driving test, because I picked up this Thai habit of stopping or moving very slowly when the traffic situation appears unclear, while in international context you are supposed to rely on other drivers acting according to the rules and keep your speed.

    Adapting to each other continuously is a typical Asian cultural feature that can be witnessed to its maximum in Vietnamese traffic, that consists of rivers of scooters flowing down the streets like a school of fish. Japanese people show adaptive yet at the same time extreme law-abiding behaviour, but like other Asians are also a group-oriented people where the harmony of the group are more important than the rights of an individual.
    In stark contrast to that, Western people tend to be more strict and rely on rules while insisting on their individual rights, so here are some fundamental differences which clearly play out even in traffic situations.

    Thai people aren't exactly amongst the most law-abiding people in the world, rules are publicly acknowledged but are often easily bent in public or broken in secret. In a similar way that many Thai treat a promise as being a mere intention that can be put aside using any (lame) excuse, rules, laws and regulations are often treated merely as guidelines that can be deviated from when you need to.

    NOTHING REALLY MATTERS
    EVERYTHING IS EMBRACED BY THE ALL-ABSOLVING MANTRA
    THAT VIBRATES THROUGH THAI SOCIETY:
    MAI-PEN-RAI SABAI-SABAI

    In traffic, you can witness that in more cases than I can describe: parking right at corners (with red-and-white pavement signs), driving against the traffic flow, driving without lights on and so on. It all doesn't matter, it's is warmly embraced by the all-encompassing, all-absolving mantra that vibrates through Thai society: mai-pen-rai, sabai-sabai. Even by law enforcers.

    For example, at intersections without traffic lights typically you can observe that normal traffic rules don't apply: traffic from the left is supposed to have priority, but in practice people just watch each others behaviour and the one who pushes on first often goes first. It is a constant give and take (sometimes more take than give), but in a more or less adaptive organic group process, rather than a strict demanding and judging based on rules.

    Thai people don’t trust the rules, don’t rely on laws, and don’t trust each other, but instead they are flexible to the situation and adapt.

    3. Hindering traffic flows is common

    In Western driving schools you should have learned that you have to do what you can to avoid interrupting the flow of traffic, so you wait until cars pass before you park or get out of a parking space, you don’t stop at the side of the road when that will block the entire lane, you don’t drive slowly where you can drive a decent speed and you make turns quick enough. Much of this is nearly alien to Thai style traffic where the concept of avoiding hindrance to others is nearly absent. This is especially so for tuk tuk and red pick up trucks, which behave like a mafia anyway, but also for other uneducated road users.

    Driving 20km per hour, making extremely slow turns, temporarily parking the vehicle in the middle the road thus blocking all traffic behind are all very common in Thailand.

  7. #7
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    When I first drove here in last milenium there were fewer cars , I received sound advice by an old hand who explained give way to size and poo yais.Defensive driving always, just because they don't signal and use mirror/camera no need ofr us not to use all safety tolls.I also avoid driving at night and avoid using my dictaphone for many reasons.
    I used to have a job at a calendar factory.
    I got the sack because
    I took a couple of days off.

  8. #8
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    its not give way,thai way is,GET OUT OF MY WAY.

  9. #9
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    I give way pretty much all the time, with the wacks that drive here, its called the survival instinct.

    It doesn't matter who's at fault in an accident that causes physical injury, if you're seriously hurt, you bear the physical burden, if another is seriously hurt, you bear the mental burden.

    You can get into the "oh, well, it was their fault - not mine" dance, but, you still have the onerous burden of proving your innocence.

    Yup, the Thai's love of their country and it must be first, but, in traffic fatalities? this is one the get seriously wrong.

    My personal opinion, the total, almost absolute lack of enforcement of traffic laws is to blame.

    and, unfortunately, regardless of how careful you drive, you cannot stop them from hitting you.

    It still boils down to this; "The best medical care in the world cannot undo the damage that a moments carelessness can cause"

  10. #10
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    Basically you give way to dynamic traffic flow coming from your left.

    If you don't you will be taking your car to the panel beaters.

    I always give way to my right which is the law here.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    I always give way to my right which is the law here.
    I'm the same as you but I find it unbelievable the amount of farangs who say 'it's the law to give way to the left'. You give way to traffic from the left and you're shafted by traffic coming from the right surely? But Thai law says this:

    Section 71 (500B)
    [If, when entering a junction, there are other vehicles, the driver must let such vehicles go through first.

    If two vehicles enter a junction from different directions at the same time, the vehicle on the left side has a right of way, except when there’s a designation of “principle roadway” in which case the vehicle on the principle roadway has a right of way.]
    How can 2 vehicles enter a junction from different directions at the same time? I'm lost

  12. #12
    lom
    lom is online now
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    How can 2 vehicles enter a junction from different directions at the same time? I'm lost
    If they couldn't then there wouldn't be any collisions in junctions..

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    How can 2 vehicles enter a junction from different directions at the same time? I'm lost
    This is one of the official theory questions.
    The answer is in bold


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    How can 2 vehicles enter a junction from different directions at the same time?
    Really? How about one from the north and one from the east or west?


    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    Section 71 (500B)
    [If, when entering a junction, there are other vehicles, the driver must let such vehicles go through first.
    If two vehicles enter a junction from different directions at the same time, the vehicle on the left side has a right of way, except when there’s a designation of “principle roadway” in which case the vehicle on the principle roadway has a right of way.]
    Yeah it's dumb. Say I'm driving north, so come to an intersection on the southern side. Simultaneously, cars reach the intersection from the east and the west. I have to give way to the car on the western side (my left), the car on my right (eastern side) has to give way to me, but I'm stopped to give way to the left, so he doesn't stop, then he's moving forward so I have to give way to him, too.
    If it was give way to the right, I stop to let the west-bound car go and the east-bound car is free to go (since I'm stopped) which does not affect me at all.
    This Section 71 flies in the face of the free left turn rule too. With that, you must still give way to your right.
    So I'm a bit dubious about the veracity of that section 71. Translation error?

    The signs on the roundabouts definitely say "give way to the right" in Thai and English with a circle of arrows pointing clockwise. Thais seem to think that turning traffic has to give way on roundabouts, so stop half way around, often resulting in a minor gridlock.




    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    My personal opinion, the total, almost absolute lack of enforcement of traffic laws is to blame.
    Agree. And because of that, a majority of Thai don't know the real road rules but have learnt the urban myth rules such as "give way to more expensive or bigger vehicles", or "even on a roundabout turning traffic must give way to straight through traffic from the left or right".

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat klong toey's Avatar
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    Do the same rules apply for riding on the pavement I get confused as a pedestrian in Bangkok what side I should let the motorbikes pass . If I should give way when the decide to leave the road and mount the pavement it gets especially confusing where the motorbike taxi boys have their rank . Lots of bikes to the left to the right and a small gap in the middle.
    Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do, whereas priests... more drink!

  16. #16
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    As in the right-hand-traffic prevails the right-hand-rule, logically in the left-hand-traffic prevails the left-hand-rule:
    the one on the left from the other one goes first...

    However, nobody in Thailand knows about that...

  17. #17
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    I give way to noone. Picked up the "me first" driving mentality in Saudi and it works quite well here.

    Whenever the cops stop me I repeat the same tired old phrase:

    "There's an emergency at the US embassy!"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by klong toey View Post
    Do the same rules apply for riding on the pavement I get confused as a pedestrian in Bangkok what side I should let the motorbikes pass . If I should give way when the decide to leave the road and mount the pavement it gets especially confusing where the motorbike taxi boys have their rank . Lots of bikes to the left to the right and a small gap in the middle.
    When a bike's coming at you on the road or pavement, stay put and motion to the rider which way to pass. Otoh one farang I knew would stand his ground on the pavement, big up and challenge the rider to try and pass either side; quite large and looked larger when riled, so they tended to stop and let him pass first.

  19. #19
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    Stop and allow pedestrians to pass


    fucks with their heads

  20. #20
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    My next car here;-
    Attached Images Attached Images

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Is car 'A' turning left, right or straight on?


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by hick View Post
    Stop and allow pedestrians to pass


    fucks with their heads
    Yeah, I used to do that at zebra crossings. Ceased doing it after nearly being rammed up the arse by cars behind and the pedestrians not knowing what to do when I stop.

  23. #23
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    In my experience, at a small T-Junction with no traffic lights, the cars coming from my left will usually let me out first, so if they stop and wait for me, I will proceed (to turn right). If they don't and carry on, that's fine by me. It's what we would do in the UK. At a big junction (main road), they will not wait for me.

    And at any junction, I always allow cars coming from my right to pass before I proceed, unless they actually stop for me.

    At a cross-roads with no traffic lights, it's anybody's guess what will happen. Often, cars will slow down and wait to see what the other cars will do. I just try to go in my direction safely.
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  24. #24
    Thailand Expat Pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hick View Post
    Stop and allow pedestrians to pass
    Stop and allow a car to exit from somewhere and that fcuks with their heads.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    Yeah, I used to do that at zebra crossings. Ceased doing it after nearly being rammed up the arse by cars behind
    Well, I've never fucking done it with cars on my ass. Jeesh, next smuggle run - we gotta talk.

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