11 July 2024

Starting January 9th, the Royal Thai Police and the Land Transport Department will enforce a demerit point system to curb traffic violations and dangerous driving, in the hope increasing drivers’ discipline on Thailand’s infamous roads.

Each driving license holder will be given 12 points and they will be deducted for each violation they are caught committing. Point deductions are divided into four levels, depending on the severity of the violation.

One point will be deducted for using a cell phone while driving, not wearing a crash helmet on a motorcycle, not fastening the seatbelt, exceeding the speed limit, riding motorcycles on the pavement, failing to stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings, not giving way to emergency vehicles, reckless driving, driving without a license plate or with the license plate covered and not showing road tax sign.

Two points will be cut for driving on the wrong side of the road, driving on a suspended or revoked license and failing to stop at traffic lights.

Three points will be deducted if drivers are found to be incompetent, commit a hit and run and driving without due care and attention.

The maximum of four points will be deducted for drunk driving, driving while under the influence of narcotics and driving without regard for the safety of others.

One point will also be cut for other offences, such as driving with unpaid traffic tickets, failing to obey traffic signs, failing to produce a driving license when asked to do so by the police, parking in no-parking areas and not staying to the left lane while driving.

Drivers who have all the 12 points deducted will have their driving licenses suspended for 90 days. If, however, they continue to drive, they could face three months in jail and/or a fine of 100,000 baht.

If a driver has had their license suspended three times in three years, they will have all their licenses revoked if their license is suspended for a fourth time.

Points will be automatically returned after one year. If only six points are left, the driver can attend a training course, arranged by the Land Transport Department, to restore points. If all the points are deducted, the driver will have their license suspended for 90 days.