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Speed limit on Thailand’s highways increased to 120 kilometres an hour

Maya Taylor

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Speed limit on Thailand’s highways increased to 120 kilometres an hour | Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikimedia

It’s official – the maximum speed limit on 4-lane highways in Thailand has been increased to 120 kilometres per hour, with the new regulation published in the Royal Gazette yesterday. Previously 90 kilometres per hour, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob says the increase in the maximum speed limit is aimed at improving the flow of traffic in line with conditions, while keeping road users safe.

The new limit applies only to highways with 4 lanes or more (at least 2 lanes travelling in each direction, divided by barriers). In the case of roads with traffic signs that indicate minimum and maximum speeds, drivers must adhere to those limits when traffic conditions and other circumstances allow. The increased maximum limit will not apply to any roads that have intersections or U-turns. Nation Thailand has summarised the speed limit regulations based on vehicle type and taking the new speed limit into account:

  • Vehicles with fewer than 7 seats: maximum 120 kilometres per hour
  • Vehicles in the rightmost lane: minimum 100 kilometres per hour
  • Passenger vehicles of over 7 seats but fewer than 15 seats: maximum 100 kilometres per hour
  • Vehicles with more than 15 seats or weighing over 2,200 kilograms: maximum 90 kilometres per hour
  • Tricycles and tow trucks: maximum 65 kilometres per hour
  • Motorcycles: maximum 80 kilometres per hour
  • Motorcycles with engines of 400cc or more: maximum 100 kilometres per hour
  • School buses: maximum 80 kilometres per hour

The increase to 120 kilometres per hour comes a month before the huge holiday getaway that is Songkran, or Thai New Year. This year, the government has announced an extended holiday period from April 10 – April 15, in a bid to boost domestic tourism. To coincide with the holiday, the Department of Land Transport has teamed up with car service centres nationwide to offer free vehicle checks.

Jirut Wisanjit from the DLT is urging drivers to get their cars and motorbikes serviced before setting off in order to ensure their roadworthiness.

“This year’s Songkran holidays start as early as April 10 and last until April 15, and we estimate that a lot of people will travel by road to their hometowns or tourist attractions, which could result in a spike in the number of road accidents. The ‘Free Vehicle Check-up for Road Safety’ activity therefore aims to urge owners to keep their vehicles in the best condition to prevent any accident and promote road safety for all. Under the campaign, vehicle owners can avail of free check-up services at participating service centres nationwide.“

According to the Nation Thailand report, the comprehensive check-up will include brakes, tyres, wiper blades, oil leakage, lighting and signals, and air filters, among others. Jirut says participating auto-service centres will display an advertising banner to advise drivers. The DLT is also advising drivers to adhere to the rules of the road, including the wearing of seat belts, sticking to the speed limit, not drinking and driving and ensuring drivers get the recommended rest time of at least 7 or 8 hours before getting behind the wheel.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jason V Goodwin

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 9:54 am

    What could go wrong.

  2. Avatar

    Joe Slim

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 9:59 am

    Like anyone follows the speed limit anyway!

  3. Avatar

    harry1

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 11:37 am

    l dont believe the powers that be have thoroughly thought thru this new speed law,it will increase fatalities,which thailand stands as one of the worst countries in the world for deaths on the road

  4. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    As the rules of the road are not properly enforced anyway they might as well make the speed limit a 150 kilometres an hour.
    The free vehicle check up is just a way to sell items to motorists. OK if the items are competitively priced.

  5. Avatar

    Randall

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 2:23 pm

    The new law lists 5 different speed limits. How realistic is that? Not exactly a uniform flow of traffic.

  6. Avatar

    Tony

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 2:39 pm

    So now my chances of been killed on the highways has now improved

  7. Avatar

    Fred glue

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Been on a big bus once in Thailand, Bangkok too mukdahan, got off at the first stop, hailed a taxi, I went straight back too Bangkok. Two hour , round trip. I like the trains in Thailand. First class mind you.

  8. Avatar

    Ian

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Increasing the speed limit.. that’s got to be a first.. most authorities around the world would decrease the speed limit….

  9. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 6:16 pm

    You could take the view that if people drive faster they will be on the highway for far less time so it might improve highway safety.think i’l go and buy a new suzuki hyabusa based on this theory.

  10. Avatar

    shawn

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    jason…did you not mean to say
    “what could go right”.
    (its thailand,worst drivers in the world!!)

  11. Avatar

    wilko

    Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    The higher the speed the more severe the results of accidents – Thailand has already cornered the market in this so it is difficult to see how or why this decision has been made.
    Firstly most Thai highways however wide and straight they look are not suitable for high speed diving.
    The speed diffirentials of various vehicles also increases the chances of collision.
    The design and engineering on most Thai roads actually exacerbates the effects of accidents – eg no proper barriers, tress along the side and even in the middle of dual carriageways, poor surfaces, drainage and poor reflective conditions in bad light and bad weather. Poor lane marking and junction design that is just suicidal. No regular signage systems and many visual obstructions.

    None of this would lead one to conclude that a considerable increase in speed limit is justified.
    There is a problem that if it is too low then people just ignore it and with the standards of enforcement in Thailand this is very common.
    I would have thought 90/100 on highways and keeping 120 only on motorways would have been better.
    BTW Thailand only has around 400 km of REAL motorway….and even those are substandard.

    A serious concern would be that roads that permit motorcycles would now have a 120 limit. tHis means a huge speed differential between private 4 wheelers and 2 or 3 wheelers.
    About 75% of all road deaths ae motorcycle rider/passengers. This can only get worse if this mix occurs.

    BTW it is worth remembering that in private 4-wheeled vehicles the deadh rate is about the same as in the USA

  12. Avatar

    sam

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 12:37 am

    After Songkran,new rules have to be introduced due the high carnage of road accidents.

  13. Avatar

    James R

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 1:41 am

    I didn’t realise the speed limit was 90 km/h, I always drive at 120 km/h like everyone else.

    But no problem because once a year I have my mandatory test on the car before buying the annual road tax.

    It takes at least three minutes to check my car for safety issues, they put the front and back wheels on a roller and press the brake pedal, that is all.

    What else could possible go wrong with a car?

    In the UK a annual test takes about one hour, are we just wasting out time? 🤣

  14. Avatar

    James R

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 1:51 am

    “A lot is happening…………”

    Well except for mass vaccinations that is, it will take them years to vaccinate people en-masse at this rate.

    So will vaccinated tourists want to go to an unvaccinated countries as the virus might mutate in Thailand and tourists will not then be protected?

    It is anyones guess when Thailand gets back to normal.

  15. Avatar

    Geoff

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 7:32 am

    This whole speed limit thing is weird. We westerners have been trained to go the slower way. The idea of different, and higher speed limits for different vehicles and different lanes is……..revolutionary! How will it be policed? Nobody will take any notice. It will only add to the existing complications and cause more confusion, if that’s possible.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  16. Avatar

    Kuhn David

    Friday, March 12, 2021 at 10:58 am

    But 120 is OK on Sukumvhit Rd if you are the heir to the Red Bull Fortune.

  17. Avatar

    Steve

    Friday, March 19, 2021 at 1:03 pm

    It will certainly keep the hospital and mortuaries a lot busier!

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Thailand

Pattaya prepares for around 2,000 US soldiers to visit for Cobra Gold

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Pattaya prepares for around 2,000 US soldiers to visit for Cobra Gold | Thaiger
Photo via Facebook/Cobra Gold Thailand

Despite Thailand’s record high Covid-19 count, around 1,000 to 2,000 United States soldiers are still expected to travel to Thailand in August for the annual Cobra Gold multinational military exercise, which is co-sponsored by the US. Thai soldiers teach American and other foreign soldiers jungle survival skills, from identifying edible plants to decapitating snakes, drinking the blood, and then cooking up the bodies to eat.

During the Cobra Gold exercise, US troops will be visiting Pattaya for rest and recreation. US forces representatives based in Thailand met with Pattaya officials to discuss the preparations for the event as well as Covid-19 prevention measures and security, particularly at the Bali Hai boat landing in south Pattaya.

Local health officials will work to vaccinate 70% of the population in Bang Lamung district and Pattaya City by June. Foreign soldiers will need to have both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine before arriving in Thailand.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand News Today | Vaccine passports announced, hospital-dodgers to be prosecuted | April 21

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Thailand News Today | Vaccine passports announced, hospital-dodgers to be prosecuted | April 21 | Thaiger

The president of the Thai Hotels Association says many properties are now considering shutting down for the entire low season as a result of the Covid-19 resurgence. They claim that smaller hotels simply don’t necessarily have the resources of the larger chains and are struggling with cash flow and crippled by low tourist demand. They say many are considering shutting up shop between April and October or until demand resumes.

The THA chief says April’s occupancy rates are expected to plummet to single digits, as happened in January during the second wave of the virus. She adds that the level of business in the last 2 weeks of this month will determine whether or not many will close. There are now just 400,000 working in the hotel industry, a huge drop compared to just a few years ago.

They also called for the Thai government to speed up vaccines for people employed in tourism… well, join the queue.

Thailand’s Health Ministry says it may prosecute a number of Covid-19 patients who refused to be treated at field hospitals. It’s understood the 74 patients, most of whom are from so-called “hi so” families in Bangkok, told officials that a stay in a field hospital would be “inconvenient”. The deputy public health minister says these patients demanded to stay at home instead, violating the communicable disease laws.

A spokesperson re-iterated today that every Covid-19 patient must be taken care of by medical personnel at a ministry medical facility, otherwise they violate the law. The ministry is considering taking legal action against those who have refused to follow ministry regulations.

They confirmed that the patients in question are from the Thong Lor cluster of infections linked to nightlife venues in the capital. They say the patients insisted they would only stay in private rooms in hospitals. They pointed to the case of the Thai actor Kom Chuanchen, saying that the celebrity initially only developed mild symptoms after testing positive but is now in intensive care with breathing problems.

The Thai government has confirmed it has adopted a vaccine passport scheme, to provide vaccinated residents with proof of Covid-19 inoculation. The vaccine passport will be an official document which can be used by vaccinated people travelling abroad. Details of the scheme have now been published in the Royal Gazette, making it official.

The Covid passport covers have text in English and Thai, bearing the department’s name and that of the Public Health Ministry. It carries the national emblem of Thailand and the wording, “Covid-19 Certificate of Vaccination”.

The vaccine passport also contains the owner’s name, as well as his or her national ID or passport number. The vaccine passport must be signed by an approved disease control official,… currently there’s only 6 such officials to sign the document around the country.

No details yet about who will issue the passports, if the clinic or hospital will do the paperwork, or even ho much it will cost.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that he won’t be attending the ASEAN summit regarding Myanmar, but will send his Foreign Minister instead. The summit, to be held in Jakarta this Saturday will address the increasingly dangerous situation in Myanmar where fear is growing that the ongoing protests against the February 1 coup could descend into civil war.

The meeting will be the first of national leaders, minus PM Prayut, as previous discussion of Myanmar has been between foreign ministers. Myanmar’s army chief earlier said he would attend the Myanmar summit but currently appears that he will only be attending virtually online.

Indonesia, stepping into a peacekeeping middleman role Thailand had played in the past, has been pushing to quell the growing crisis. Thailand has not been forthcoming in any criticism of the current Burmese army chiefs instead saying that they hope the situation can be resolved peacefully.

A doctor at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University says 7 people developed temporary partial paralysis after receiving a Covid vaccine. The 7 were all inoculated with CoronaVac, the vaccine from Chinese manufacturer, Sinovac Biotech. All were in the east of the country, with 6 in Rayong and 1 in Chon Buri.

The condition of all 7 improved after they were given medication. The side-effects were reported to the Public Health Ministry, saying the adverse effects might have been caused by a particular batch of vaccines, as opposed to the vaccine itself. Those investigations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, another Chulalongkorn doctor warns that this third wave of the virus is proving highly contagious, with an increase in the number of seriously ill patients in intensive care.

Dr Opass Putcharoen says that a growing number of young people who test positive are developing pneumonia and respiratory symptoms. He says that in the first and second wave, patients at risk of serious illness would show those symptoms around 7 days after infection. In the current wave, severe symptoms are developing much faster. He urged the government to fast-track its vaccine rollout.

Police are warning about another bank deposit scam spreading in Thailand. Police are warning people to beware of an SMS message notifying you of a money deposit along with an attached link to see the money. So far plenty of people have fallen for the scam. Victims have filed police reports and shared their info to the media. Most of them received notification of 100,000-200,000 baht deposited into their account requiring, of course, your email and bank usernames. The victims received messages that the personal information was vital to avoid someone removing money from their accounts.

Bottomline, just ignore any SMS messages from your bank and, if you are concerned, go into a bank branch in person to check. Don’t open the link!

Finally, 1,458 new Covid-19 cases and 2 deaths were reported today by the CCSA, stabilising the recent upward spike of new infections since the outbreaks at nightlife venues in Bangkok. Since April 1, 17,780 Covid-19 cases and 16 deaths have been reported.

The 2 additional Covid-related deaths today were a 56 year old Thai woman from Bangkok, who also suffered from diabetes, and a 32 year old Thai man from Nonthaburi who had allergies and lung disease.

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Human Rights Watch calls on Thailand to release activists detained on lèse majesté charges

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Human Rights Watch calls on Thailand to release activists detained on lèse majesté charges | Thaiger
Facebook_เพนกวิน - พริษฐ์ ชิวารักษ์_Parit_Chiwarak

The Human Rights Watch is calling on Thai authorities to release pro-democracy activists who are detained on lèse majesté charges which carry an up to 15 year prison sentence for insulting the Thai Monarchy. HRW says the charges should be dropped because the activists’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly have been violated.

2 of the detained activists, both students at Thammasat University, have been on a hunger strike as a form of protest against their pre-trial detention. Parit Chiwarak has been on a hunger strike for 35 days and Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul has been on the strike for 21 days. HRW says the 2 activists should be released and transferred to a hospital for medical supervision.

HRW Asia director Brad Adams says Thai authorities should immediately drop the cases against Parit, Panusaya as well as others who were “unjustly charged for their peaceful pro-democracy protests, but at a minimum, they should be released on bail.”

“Holding activists in detention prior to trial and conviction, which could be years away, seems aimed to unfairly punish them rather than fulfill a legitimate state interest.”

Back in February, Parit along with 3 other prominent activists Arnon Nampha, Somyot Pruksakasemsuk and Patiwat Saraiyaem, were ordered to pre-trial detention for charges related to their actions in the pro-democracy movement. Last month, Panusaya and 2 other democracy activists, Jatupat Boonpattararaksa, and Panupong Jadnok, were ordered by the Bangkok Criminal Court into pre-trial detention for lèse majesté charges relating to speeches demanding monarchy reform at a September rally.

Under Section 112 of Thailand’s Criminal Code, known as the lèse majesté law, insulting or defaming the Thai Monarchy carries a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison. The activists were also charged with sedition under Section 116 of the Criminal Code, which carries a punishment of up to 7 years in prison.

The activists have been denied bail and the HRW says they could end up being detained for years until their trial is concluded. HRW says holding the activists in pre-trial detention on lèse majesté charges violates their rights under international human rights law.

With the rise of the student-led pro-democracy movement, the number of lèse majesté charges has increased over the past year. For nearly 3 years prior, lèse majesté prosecutions never made it to court. Over the past year, 82 people have faced lèse majesté charges for actions at rallies or on social media related to the pro-democracy movement. Adams calls it a “witch hunt.”

“The Thai government should stop this witch hunt against peaceful dissenters and demonstrate respect for human rights by permitting all viewpoints… The government should engage with United Nations experts and others about amending the lèse majesté law to bring it into compliance with Thailand’s international human rights law obligations.”

SOURCE: Human Rights Watch

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