The Thai government is hoping to introduce a strict penalty points based system in a bid to improve road safety in the country. The Ministry of Transport has announced it has been working with the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in order to help implement the new system.
Japan’s traffic laws are among the stricist in the world. While it is not clear exactly when it will come into force in Thailand, the system is already at the final stage of drafting before it will be submitted to parliament for approval. It is understood that driving licenses will be tied to a certain number of points, which are added if a driver is found to have committed an offence. For example, failure to stop at traffic lights would result in a 2 point penalty and fine of between 1,800 baht and 3,200 baht, while speeding could result in a six point penalty and increased fine.
Anyone who amasses six penalty points within a three year period faces having their licenses suspended for up 180 days. Japanese traffic laws are also very strict when it come to driving under the influence of alcohol, where people caught drink driving can face up to three years in jail. In Thailand, the new points based system proposes a potential 35-point penalty, a maximum jail term of five years and/or fine of up to 300,000 baht, as well as five-year driving licence suspension.
The introduction of the new point based system will also result in various government agencies and the police sharing data on drivers regarding traffic offences and convictions. Earlier this year, drink driving was found to be the number one killer on Thai roads during the so-called “Seven Dangerous Days” at Songkran. Between April 11 to 17 2019 there were a total of 3,338 road accidents resulted in 3,442 people injured and 386 dead. According to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, 36.6 percent of accidents were caused by drinking driving, while speeding accounted for 28.3 percent of accidents.