Driving licence point deductions will start next year in Thailand to help curb traffic violations and dangerous driving. Starting January 9, 2023, the Royal Thai Police and Land Transport Department will enforce the demerit point system. Each driving license holder will be given 12 points to start with but will be deducted for each violation they are caught committing.
The point deductions are divided into four levels, depending on the severity of the violation. According to Thai PBS World, one point will be deducted for those caught using a cell phone while driving, not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle, exceeding the speed limit, not wearing a seatbelt, riding a motorcycle on the pavement, not giving way to emergency vehicles, reckless driving, failing to stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings, driving without a license plate or with the plate covered and not showing the road tax sign.
Two points will be deducted for driving on the wrong side of the road, failing to stop at traffic lights, and driving on a suspended license.
Three points will be deducted if drivers are found to commit a hit and run, are driving without due attention and care, and are incompetent.
A maximum of four points will be deducted from a driving license if the driver is found to be drunk driving, or driving while under the influence of narcotics and driving without regard to others’ safety.
Other offences will see one point deducted, such as driving with unpaid traffic tickets, failing to produce a driving license when asked by police, failing to obey traffic signs, parking in a no-parking zone, and not staying in the correct lane while driving.
Those drivers who have all 12 points deducted will have their driver’s licenses suspended for 90 days. If they choose to continue to drive on a suspended license, then they may face jail time of three months or a fine of 100,000 baht. If a driver has their license suspended three times in three years, they will have all of their licenses revoked upon a fourth suspension.
Although points can be taken away for the listed behaviours, the points will be returned after one year. But, if only six points remain, the driver can attend a training course to restore their points. The training courses will be arranged by the Land Transport Department.