Was sent this by a friend. Doesn't sound like a great place to drive a Lotus.
Thai Rules for the Road
By John Campbell
I have been amazed and also angry many times with the habits of Thai drivers. I can only say that, when you use US standards, the driving here is horrible. It has been one of the more frustrating changes for my adjustment to Thailand.
However, now that I have been here a while, I think I am making the adjustment and I can understand the reasoning behind the strange driving habits of the locals. Sometimes it is just hard to see the wisdom of another culture until you become immersed in it. Therefore, I have decided to write down the “Rules of the Road” in case you ever visit Thailand, I hope they will assist you in making the adjustment and make your stay more enjoyable. If you are not planning to visit, the rules will give you insight into the ways of the east.
1. “The lines on the road are just there for general reference”. Any flat surface in the vicinity of your vehicle can be driven on. This rule has many consequences and is perhaps the single most important rule.
2. “The person who can occupy a space first has the right of way”. This applies even if you are pulling onto a highway going 5 mph in front of a car going 70mph. Whomever occupies the lane first always has the right of way. I tried sounding my horn at drivers for doing this many times and either got angry gestures or just puzzled looks. It became clear that I just did not understand.
3. You can stop anywhere for any reason. This includes the fast lane of a controlled access highway. Maybe you need to make a phone call, or just like the view from that spot. No worries, you got there first, they can go around you.
4. Another driving habit results from rules 1, 2 and 3 above. It is not necessarily a new rule, but it is important to understand. “Lane Position is Everything” I guess truckers and race drivers have known this all along, but here it has a special purpose. If you can manage to straddle two lanes, you can have the option of using either one at your discretion. This is very helpful when one lane becomes occupied by an overloaded truck going 2mph or an old man on a bicycle weaving down the road.
5. “Beware Red Taxies” These guys know the rules better than anyone and they know they own the road. They will do whatever it takes to control the road. You can hit the old piece-of-**** taxi if you want, but they know the police and you will be wrong.
6. “Jumping the Red Lights is Polite” You need to get moving quickly to be considerate of those behind you. When the cross traffic light is about to turn yellow, you just go.
7. “You Can Run the Red Light if You Sound Your Horn First” You can see why this is important after you know rule number 6.
8. “You Can Do Anything if You Have Your Hazard Flashers On” Of course it is impolite to just drive with them all the time, just for special occasions.
9. “There is no such thing as too slow or too fast”. The cops almost never stop anyone, and if they do, it is just because they are short of cash and want whisky money. I got pulled over for going 120 kph on a road posted 60 kph. The cop just wanted 200 baht ($6) for whisky. That is not asking much. He originally asked if we had whisky, but we said the best we could do was money and he was cool with that. Very friendly people.
10. “You can pass anywhere”. If there is traffic in the approaching lane, they can just move to the far left lane or shoulder. You are not responsible for what happens to those guys. Passing on a blind turn or hill proves that you are “man-jai” (confident or cocky). People will respect you.
11. The far left lane (they drive on the left here) on a highway is multiuse. The official use is for motorbikes, who usually cannot keep up with the flow of traffic because they are either 100-125cc engines. However, this lane is also used for passing, stopping to piss or pick some vegetation for dinner. It can be exciting when you are on your motorbike passing and flat out at 120kph and someone ahead decides to stop to pee.
12. “Helmets are for sissies”. They are required by law, so it is best to carry the thing somewhere and slip it on when you see a cop. If you are good, you can do this while weaving through traffic with the rest of your family on the back.
13. “There is no limit to the passenger limit on a 100cc Honda motorbike” The most I have seen is five people, but I am sure someone has done six or maybe more. It all comes down to packaging.
14. “There is no limit to what can be carried on a pickup truck” Americans really do not use there trucks to their full capacity. Believe me I have seen pickups with loads that were a full 10 feet over the cab and the truck was still able to drive into town a get to the market.<xxpstylexx></xxpstylexx>