Foreigners driving into Thailand to face strict curbs


Thailand plans to enforce stricter controls on foreigners driving into Thailand in future, especially tourists who drive motor homes, motorcycles and other vehicles into the country particularly in the north.

As reported by the Bangkok Post, the vehicles present problems in terms of accidents and ecological damage, according to Land Transport chief Sanit Phromwong. He added that the ban is intended to enforce order and allow only some types of vehicles to enter the country for a limited time.

The order will also limit the number of people who can drive vehicles into Thailand from neighbouring countries such as China, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam, say officials. Apparently Chinese tourists enjoy driving their cars into Thailand without any prior agreement, but that may not happen in future.

Vehicles with a total of 9 seats and pickups with a maximum weight of 3,500 kg will be allowed to travel in Thailand, but those motorists will also need to apply for permission and have their vehicles checked by the Thai authorities. Requests to drive must be made 10 days before a trip, said Mr Sanit, with officials in the border provinces having the authority to decide whether to grant special permission cards.

These permits must then be displayed inside the owners’ vehicles in clear view, and will cost 500 baht each, allowing the driver to drive in the province they entered into only, and for a maximum of 30 days. In one year, the total number of days Thai roads cannot exceed 60 days.

If foreign vehicles are found to have broken the law, the mistakes will be recorded and sent to transport officials, who may then decide whether the vehicles in question will be allowed back into Thailand in future.

The new regulations will not apply to vehicles from Laos, Malaysia and Singapore, as Thailand has existing pacts on international car usage with those countries.

SOURCE: The Bangkok Post.