Pattaya Police Helmet crackdown

Recently police have been on a helmet rampage, one of the periodic phases of enforcement where the law is sporadically enforced against Thais and foreigners alike. A reminder that if you are taking a lady on a bike, you both must wear helmets. Most ladies don’t like to as the helmet supplied with hire bikes is unclean and smelly, or simply do not want to mess up their hair. Assuming you have done nothing else wrong, the base fine is 400 thb issued as a fine to be paid within 7 days at the Pattaya police station next to Central Festival on soi 9. It is normal procedure for the officer to confiscate your driving licence and it will be returned when you pay the fine. More unscrupulous officers may ask for cash on the spot, probably 1000 baht. If this happens just insist that you go to the police station, but if push comes to shove it might be worth saving your time and effort and pay the “fine”.  Note that Pattaya police are aware of foreigners requirement to have an international driving permit, with the correct motorcycle endorsement. If you do not have this then you may be fined an additional amount.

The process for paying a fine is simple, if the ticket machine is working take a ticket from the left side as you go in the door, if it is broken (usually is) then just join the queue at the fines payment counter on the right side as you go in the entrance. The first counter will take your payment and issue a receipt , take this to the next counter along to receive your licence back. The middle or afternoon of the day is usually the least busy period at the police station.

Stationary checkpoints are generally easy to see and avoid as they have visable signage and flashing lights. Also traffic will  be backed up. Popular spots are Pattaya Klang (Central Pattaya road) and Second rd intersection towards Beach road, Soi Buakhow at the Pattaya Tai (southern) end near the market, these are highly trafficked spots. In addition, in front of Pattaya police station on Beach road itself is a common spot to see tickets being issued. Also it is common to see officers at the Dolphin Roundabout, they will wave you in if they see you. There are also thai-language groups on Facebook and Line that report on police whereabouts, ask a Thai friend for help if you want to join these. Note- if you are caught drink driving the consequences are generally an unofficial fine in the vicinity of 10,000-20,000 or a day in jail followed by court and a smaller fine. If you are breathalysed and think the reading has been falsified it is generally easier to pay up than dispute, you can request to go to the police station for a re-test but you have a chance of just being thrown directly into the cells. The moral of the story is dont drink and drive, motorbike taxis are cheap whereas getting caught over the limit is not.

richard coxley

Richard Coxley is a business consultant with over 12 years experience in Asia. He enjoys playing golf. He has travelled extensively in Thailand and currently resides in Pratumnak, Pattaya.

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