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What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

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Gregjam
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What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Gregjam » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:10 pm

It frequently comes up in posts about the wearing of motorcycle crash helmets here in Thailand. Rather than guesses somebody is bound to know what exactly the law is regarding the requirement to wear a helmet here.

My own interpretation based on observation is that one person on a motorcycle must wear a helmet (either rider or passenger) if the motorcycle is in use on the public road.

Does it really only apply to one person? Perhaps the legal eagles could also clarify the other 'motorcycle' laws that may or may not exist.

Do you need a licence to ride a motorcycle on the road?

What is the maximum amount of people allowed on a motorcycle (suspect this is two as you frequently see the 3rd or 4th get off the bike before the checkpoint and reboard after).

Is there any law about age/size of passenger (i.e. baby seats designed specifically for the step thru type bikes)?

Is it legal to use a motorcycle to tow any kind of trailer.

Is there any requirement for a motorcycle to be maintained (i.e. brakes/lights working).

I am more than aware that this will garner some humourous responses and am well aware that whatever the legal situation is you know you will get stuffed if you, as a farang, are involved in an accident with a bike.

It would also be interesting to know how the accident statistics compare when you look at the amount of people using a motorcycle here in Thailand. We all know that if safe practices were adopted accidents would be reduced but that would also put a huge amount of the motorcycles/motorcyclists off the road. If you take away all the accidents where the motorcyclist was illegally on the road (no helmet/licence/overloaded/drunk) what are the actual accident figures for motorcyclist compliant with the law.

Nothing like a bit of manipulation of statistics although I doubt if they are available. It might also detract a bit from repeated comments about crash helmets as if they are the be all and end all of motorcycle safety. A bike will not hurt you without input from a rider. Basically we all know that if motocycles/motorcyclists here were all legal it would make the roads a safer place (also if this was applied to motorists/cars/vans/lorries too) but chances of that happening are nil.

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby lomuamart » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:25 pm

A minefield and I think you've answered your own questions.
Ie, you can copy paste regulations but it's all down to the day, the person etc etc...
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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby usual suspect » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:04 pm

There was a heap of large free-standing (albeit tied to lecky-poles) posters/billboards around Nov. of last year announcing that in HH the pillion would now have to wear a helmet as well as the rider of a motorcycle.
This new law seems to have gone totally down the drain as I've never seen the MIB pull a m/cycle up for this new offence.
What about after-market silencers, no number-plates, etc..all these machines come out after dark..when most of the MIB are tucked up in the station enjoying the soap on Ch.7!

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Gregjam » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:05 pm

usual suspect wrote:There was a heap of large free-standing (albeit tied to lecky-poles) posters/billboards around Nov. of last year announcing that in HH the pillion would now have to wear a helmet as well as the rider of a motorcycle.


Did it say pillion or pillions. And aftermarket exhausts don't count as that is probably a bigger problem in the UK so we would only get the blame for that.

Do Salaengs come under a bike, car or separate licence and do you have to wear a helmet on them? Seen more than one with a farang 'driving' it to which wifey told me not to get any ideas.

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Frank Hovis » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:19 pm

It might also detract a bit from repeated comments about crash helmets as if they are the be all and end all of motorcycle safety

Lets be honest, crash helmets really are the be all and end all of motorcycle safety once you've gotten into an accident, prior to the accident they are of no use whatsoever except perhaps to stop bugs hitting you in the face and to stop you looking so cool. Leathers, boots and gloves will all help but broken limbs and scraped skin aren't usually the killers, it's that little bump to the head that will get you and brain surgery here is hardly brain surgery.
Sure, no amount of crash helmet is going to save you under the wheels of a ten wheeler, but it might just save you if you come off at 30kph and slide towards the kerb.

Not getting into the accident in the first place is where it all breaks down here with regards to road safety.

http://thailaws.com/law/t_laws/tlaw0140_5.pdf, should answer most of your questions.

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby blue05 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:21 pm

usual suspect wrote:There was a heap of large free-standing (albeit tied to lecky-poles) posters/billboards around Nov. of last year announcing that in HH the pillion would now have to wear a helmet as well as the rider of a motorcycle.
This new law seems to have gone totally down the drain as I've never seen the MIB pull a m/cycle up for this new offence.
What about after-market silencers, no number-plates, etc..all these machines come out after dark..when most of the MIB are tucked up in the station enjoying the soap on Ch.7!


the MIB are all over town at night now, see much more at night than during the day. Could have something to do with the juicy "fines" they are getting from drink drivers, heaviest one i heard was 20k bt

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby johnnyk » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:39 pm

blue05 wrote:
usual suspect wrote:There was a heap of large free-standing (albeit tied to lecky-poles) posters/billboards around Nov. of last year announcing that in HH the pillion would now have to wear a helmet as well as the rider of a motorcycle.
This new law seems to have gone totally down the drain as I've never seen the MIB pull a m/cycle up for this new offence.
What about after-market silencers, no number-plates, etc..all these machines come out after dark..when most of the MIB are tucked up in the station enjoying the soap on Ch.7!


the MIB are all over town at night now, see much more at night than during the day. Could have something to do with the juicy "fines" they are getting from drink drivers, heaviest one i heard was 20k bt

End of the month is coming and they have been told their revenue targets.
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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby HHTel » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:40 pm

Thai traffic laws are based on the uk laws (highway code).

Only two to a bike and both must wear helmets. This has always been the law so there is nothing new about it. You are more likely to be picked up in BKK on a main road for this.

A few years ago, there was a campaign by the police driving around Hua Hin with speakers stating that only two people can be on a m/cycle and both must wear helmets. The only evidence I saw of this was over two days outside Salesian School when they stopped everyone for the above offences. Then of course it was forgotten. A similar campaign was carried out regarding m/cycles showing headlights even during daylight hours. As usual, after a week, it was forgotten.

All these 'sidecars' on m/cycles carrying sale produce or just for passengers are totally illegal. The only sidecars that are allowed on a m/cycle are ones that are approved/designed for the particular manufacturer.

Laws and enforcement haven't changed for years. Unless enforcement is carried out by the laid back 'all in the family' police force in the 'out of BKK' provinces, then nothing will change.

Also, I differ with the OP in the fact that if you are a farang then you must be to blame. I have had a number of incidences with other Thai drivers. If you are not at fault the stick to your guns. The police will always back you up whatever colour your skin. It's always worked for me.

Drive safely out there and keep aware of others on the road. Very often, they have never been taught to drive, don't have a licence or have any common sense.

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Gregjam » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:41 am

Thanks for the responses so far, very informative. My comment about support from MIB is primarily based on an incident I had a long time ago here when a kid (no licence/helmet etc) hit my car and all I got was grief. Made to feel that it he had been seriously injured it would have cost me dearly. Things have probably improved now there are more of us.

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Roel » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:34 am

Funny. Farangs moaning all the time: they should enforce the laws, they should do something about drunk driving, they should do this, they should do that, like they do it back home. Then the police is checking after dark and you read:
blue05 wrote:Could have something to do with the juicy "fines" they are getting from drink drivers
and
johnnyk wrote:End of the month is coming and they have been told their revenue targets.

Typical.
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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Takiap » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:55 am

As HHTel has stated, no laws have changed. It has always been compulsory to wear helmets, both the driver and the passenger. Things are changing but not very quickly. :D When I first moved to Hua-Hin, very few people wore helmets, whereas nowadays most people actually do, at least in the center of town.

From what I've seen, the MIB never crack down on passengers riding not wearing helmets, and they don't tend to give a damn how many people you have on the bike.

With a saleng (fitted side hack), the driver must still wear a helmet. Not sure about passengers, but again, I've never seen the police fine because passengers aren't wearing helmets. A short while ago, they required all saleng owners to get a document from the police stations confirming whether their vehicles were for business or private use only. This too was never enforced. I have been through countless police stops since, where loads of motorcyclists were being fined for no helmets and etc, and I've never been stopped yet. Most times, I just get a smile and a salute.

I know many people will disagree with me, but as I've said before, the fact that Thailand has such a "live and let live" attitude, is one of the biggest reasons I'm still here. We also need to remember that most of the MIB are no different from your average Thai, and their mothers and fathers are probably also driving around with salengs and etc.

I think Roel hit the nail on the head when he said people complain when laws aren't enforced, and then they complain when laws are enforced. I wonder how many of us will want to stay here if Thailand becomes just like the UK, USA, or etc?

I guess I just find it hard to believe that 99% of the Farang who live here, moved here thinking that Thailand would be like their home countries within a year or two.

We all knew about helmet laws, and that most don't abide by those laws: we all knew about corrupt officials; we all knew about soi dogs, and yet a few years down the line, people start complaining. :shock: :?


Welcome to Thailand, and let's hope it never changes, at least not while I'm still alive. :thumb: :laugh: :cheers:
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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby dtaai-maai » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:36 am

Takiap wrote:I know many people will disagree with me, but as I've said before, the fact that Thailand has such a "live and let live" attitude, is one of the biggest reasons I'm still here. We also need to remember that most of the MIB are no different from your average Thai, and their mothers and fathers are probably also driving around with salengs and etc.

I think Roel hit the nail on the head when he said people complain when laws aren't enforced, and then they complain when laws are enforced. I wonder how many of us will want to stay here if Thailand becomes just like the UK, USA, or etc?

I guess I just find it hard to believe that 99% of the Farang who live here, moved here thinking that Thailand would be like their home countries within a year or two.

We all knew about helmet laws, and that most don't abide by those laws: we all knew about corrupt officials; we all knew about soi dogs, and yet a few years down the line, people start complaining.
"I know many people will disagree with me" Certainly not me, at least not with the general sentiment.

Like so many other topics, we've been round the block on this one once or twice before.

But I think there are two categories of 'complainer' and it's important to distinguish between them.
The smaller by far, and a very long way from 99%, contains those who really seem to want a sunny version of home, but most of us just like the chance to get the minor irritants off our chest.
I have to stretch my imagination to come up with the sort of whinges I'd be having if I still, God forbid, lived in the UK, but I'm sure they'd be much more numerous, frequent and serious than anything I feel compelled to have a moan about here.

We speak volumes by the simple fact that we're all still here.

Sorry, not really on topic, but the answer to the original question is quite simply that it doesn't really matter.
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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby armycw4ret » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:58 pm

Helmet law's are like any other laws here. Applies to us as not being Thai. Spitting on sidewalk or littering on the street. If you have an issue with us not being treated as the Thai's are, then go back to your home country. Same the world everywhere. You are a guest. I have been here two years and look at this forum a lot. Continually complaining. Go back to your home country if you cannot afford it. The basic reason you are here is because it is warm an inexpensive compared to the US, AUS, or Europe. Put on your helmet or stop complaining of a 200 bt fine for being stupid.

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Gregjam » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:55 pm

It's good to see a variety of responses. I never intended to complain, as someone who was here for 10 years, left and has now returned I am aware of what it is like. As has been said it has changed little. My interest was just to know exactly what the situation is and perhaps draw attention away from the fixation with helmets and discuss the other aspects of bike safety. In that I feel I have been successful. Arguing with the MIB is never a good idea particularly if you are in the wrong (helmet/licence etc). Since i have been back mid March I have passed countless checkpoints and never been stopped which is an improvement on the past. The link provided I have found interesting and am slowly working my way through it just out of interest. It is good to see active discussion alive on the forum, one of the best I have ever become a member of.

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Re: What exactly is the motorcycle Helmet Law in Thailand

Postby Pleng » Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:39 pm

armycw4ret wrote:Applies to us as not being Thai.


This is rubbish....I see more Thais pulled over for not wearing helmets than "guests"


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