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Thailand to introduce separate test for big bike riders from next year

Maya Taylor




From next February, motorbike riders in Thailand will be required to pass a separate driving test and training session if they wish to receive a licence for a “big bike”. The regulation has been announced in the Royal Gazette, after the government approved it last August, in a bid to cut road traffic accidents which are predominantly motorbikes (about 75%) and predominantly male. Thailand has one of the world’s worst road safety records, and the highest rate of motorcycle-related deaths.

The Pattaya News reports that police spokesman Ekkarak Limsakas has confirmed that from February 19, anyone with a bike over 400cc will need to attend additional training sessions and take a test in order to comply with the law.

“The Department of Land Transport together with the Royal Thai Police had previously considered the necessity of separate driving licenses since a big bike rider needs more skillful driving skills due to the vehicle’s weight and balancing difficulty. Many road accidents involving loss of lives and properties frequently occurred with big bike owners.

“The separate license for big bike owners is believed to potentially strengthen the road safety for all riders and pedestrians as well as to reduce minor and fatal road accidents. The authorities are in the process of re-classifying the regulations between a small and a large motorcycle driving license before the penalties and punishments will be re-issued under the new law.”

What has not been made clear is whether foreign riders in possession of a big bike licence from their home country will also be required to take the test.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News


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  1. Avatar

    Michael Dirk

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Information implies that Thailand roads will be more safer by requiring big bike driver to have additional licensing requirements.

    Probably about 99 percent of all big bike owners are foreigners…

    I do not ever see any media report in the 3 years I been living in Thailand of a motorcycle accident involving a big bike.

    I read about an average of 2 smaller motorbike deaths each day, though… And about 99 percent of those drivers and passengers are Thai.

    Should start enforcing the drivers and passengers not wearing helmets… Especially small children and babies who I see riding on motorbikes… Also start enforcing more than 2 people on motorbike..
    Yesterday on Third road, I saw Thai man driver, female Thai adult carrying infant and 2 additional toddlers
    .. All not wearing helmets..

    • The Thaiger & The Nation

      The Thaiger & The Nation

      Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      “Probably about 99 percent of all big bike owners are foreigners”. That’s absolutely wrong. Without even digging into the actual level of “big bike” ownership in Thailand, I will call you out on your random figure. Even comparing the 67 million Thais to the 280,000 foreigners living in Thailand (it’s a lot less now), you’ll be hard pressed to come up with 99%. Please send your link to the 99% number to

      • Avatar

        Issan John

        Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 2:03 pm

        Agreed 100%.

        “99 %” wouoldn’t even apply in Pattaya, let alone Thailand-wide. Where I live it’s a favourite destination for groups of “big bike riders” and “99%” of those are Thais, along with 99.9% of the tourists.

        It may have applied in Pattaya 20 or 30 years ago, but it certainly doesn’t now.

  2. Avatar


    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    And probably need “separate” driving license for car drivers.

    A) Car Driving Licence
    B) Monkey Behind Wheel Licence

    Yes, big bike drivers are careless, but I have seen so mane car drivers
    who drive like they are still with motorbike, not speaking that traffic fines
    for motorbike are car driving pretty much same, while danger level different.
    Motorbike driver probably kill himself, car drive kill other party of accident.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 2:20 pm

      I’d actually be very surprised if big bike riders are involved in more accidents than small bikes – the majority of people here don’t wear helmets except in the town (occasionally), but I literally can’t recall seeing a big bike rider up here without a helmet in the last ten years.

      The fines, though, are pretty much meaningless. I was sent a speeding ticket for going 115 kph / 70 mph when I was overtaking on a dual carriagway (100 kph limit). Fair enough, although it took over a year to arrive, but although I tried to pay it at 7-11, SCB, and the Post Office none could accept it as it was already out of date. The fines aren’t payable at any police station except the one issuing the ticket so I phoned the one that issued the ticket and they told me that as it was out of date and my car tax had been paid in the meantime I didn’t need to pay it. The fine was 500 baht.

  3. Avatar

    Issan John

    Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    “What has not been made clear is whether foreign riders in possession of a big bike licence from their home country will also be required to take the test.”

    Why would it not be exactly as for a car or any other type of driving licence?

    So if you’re on an international licence, that needs to qualify you for whatever you’re driving (car, motor bike, bike under 250cc, bike over 250cc, etc), and if you want a Thai drivng licence you have to take the Thai test for whatever sort of licence you want?

  4. Avatar


    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 7:59 am

    There was a time in Thailand, not so long ago, where the size limit of motorcycles was 125cc. Ya’ think they knew something bad was coming?
    All motorcyclists need to take a rider safety course. It matters not the size of the bike, but the proficiency of the operator. Meaningful classroom instruction plus hands-on instructions by a competent instructor is the only way to stop the carnage…and practice, repetitive practice!
    For those who are new to riding motorcycles, or those who have been riding for decades and think they know it all, (you don’t), and would like to “ride like a pro” and learn the techniques, the internet has a plethora of videos on the techniques of riding safely. The one thing you can’t stop is the exuberance and recklessness of youth.

    • Avatar

      Issan John

      Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2:16 pm

      “There was a time in Thailand, not so long ago, where the size limit of motorcycles was 125cc.”

      Really? Are you sure?

      When was that?

      There’s been no such limit in the last forty years, to my certain knowledge, and I’d be surprised if there was before. I think you may have it confused with the limit of 110cc for 16 and 17 year olds.

  5. Avatar


    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Interesting. “No look“ left turns, pulling a U from the far left lane, etc. regardless of the type of vehicle. More tests won’t change that or the culture here in my opinion. More power to you if you think otherwise.

  6. Avatar


    Thursday, October 29, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    Largely subjective comments on the numbers and demographics of big bike riders and accidents.

    This is a “dictum” typical of s many Thai bits of legislation – it is conceived in isolation without proper research and will have negligible results when it comes to road deaths and RTIs in the country.

    Contries in Europe have a bike “trsinee” status of 125 cc or thereabouts followed by a train course for all bikes over that. Training drivers is only PAERT of the whole situation with road safety. Until Thailand adopts the complete “safe system” appraoch there will be virtually no improvement in road safety. This is just another example of the governments inability to deal effectively with the problem

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