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Thread: Extortion on hwy 118

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    Extortion on hwy 118

    I understand that Thai police have to supplement their income with fines, but there is a huge difference between getting a fine for a legitimate offence and some officer making up some new law to extort money from a tourist.

    Apparently there is a new "law" in Thailand where a motorcycle is not allowed to pass slower moving vehicles even though the motorcycle is not breaking any speed limit on a divided 4 lane highway. Apparently, motorcycles are supposed to remain near the curb or edge of the road at all times and suffer whatever fate that poorly built highways causes them.

    Case in point... I was riding my 250 D-Tracker north on hwy 118 today, and cruising along between 85 and 90 km/hr. There was a fair bit of traffic and I was passing the trucks and slower moving cars, but I moved out of the way of pickups and vans wanting to fly along like they were riding an 800cc Kawasaki at the Isle of Mann race.

    About 9 km beyond the outer Ring road the police had a check point set up on a straight piece of highway. I was riding on the white line, as I usually do between the truck lane and the passing lane, because itís the safest place to be. Apparently, that is illegal on a motorbike. I was flagged over, my driverís license taken and was directed to pay a 400 baht fine by the group of extortionists wearing uniforms. I really had no option or go to jail and wait for a court appearance.

    I really try to follow the rules of Thailand and if I break some obscure law then so be it. But, my already low opinion of police drops even further after being extorted.

    Rant over. It's not like I can't afford a $16 fine. I give more than that away every day to charity, but it is the principle of the matter and it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I don't like crooks, and especially ones wearing uniforms.

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    Last edited by Fionn; 24th May 2015 at 18:04.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fionn View Post
    Its not a new law, its been in place for a long time. You broke the law, were fined the correct amount whats the problem?

    No extortion, no crooks (well except for you as you broke the law), you don't just like getting caught doing something wrong.
    Thanks for the information. I'll pass it on to everyone who rides a motorbike and tell them it is against the law for any motorbike of any size to pass a slow moving vehicle.

    I never realized motorbikes were not allowed to ride anywhere but in the curb lane. I see them in the city and highways everywhere in all lanes. I've been passed many times by guys on big bikes and didn't realize they were breaking the law. I didn't realize I had to ride in the gravel and broken parts of the highway to allow an oncoming truck or van to drive around corners in oncoming lanes. That is good to know.

    If the police need money then why not stop ALL vehicles passing through and just demand 100 baht a vehicle... like a road tax. As it is operated now it just pisses people off who are trying to be legitimate and turns them against the police. There are a thousand things the police could be doing that would actually help traffic and prevent an even higher death toll. On my ride I saw two busses that should never be on the road. One had wheels so far out of aligne that it was crabbing along almost sideways.
    Last edited by Ian Forbes; 9th March 2015 at 00:20.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    you came across a check point at a place that i've never seen there before but they were going over plenty of people,farangs in particular when i went through it 2-3 days ago....in the far right passing lane on my scooter and waved through 55 they had a desk set up under a tree on the footpath and had a whole bunch of farangs bailed up at it.

    my mate got randomly breath tested near there too....failed and some time later managed to slip a bribe and allowed to carry on.

    they're getting a bit heavy handed around here ATM and caution is advised!
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    So a bike can never pass on a highway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    So a bike can never pass on a highway?
    According to Fionn and the cops near Doi Saket... ???

    I can think of a dozen stretches of Thai highway where it's risking you life riding by the edge of a divided lane highway. Many have deep ruts caused by poor highway construction, and if your front wheel gets in one rut, and you back wheel gets in another, then there is a good chance to take a tumble. Do that in front of a transport truck and you are mush. That is not including all the broken pavement.

    I understand the rule of wanting slow moving, over loaded scooters to stay out of the passing, or fast moving lanes. It makes sense. But a motorbike that can go faster than the traffic around it should not be forced to take the edge of the road and not be allowed to pass.

    I could make up all sorts of laws for the Thai police so they could collect their graft.
    1. Americans can only ride or drive on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
    2. Brits can only drive on Mondays and Tuesdays.
    3. Aussies will be restricted to Fridays and Saturdays.
    4. And because there are fewer of them, Canadians will only be allowed to ride or drive on Sundays.
    5. Because of their terrible record, Russians, Indians and Chinese will not be allowed to drive at all. And, that includes all women of any race.

    That should just about do it. The Thai police will be rolling in dough in no time and they can get back to serious boozing and beating their wives and girl friends.

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    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    This crackdown was publicized fairly widely in Thai news. Perhaps as a knee jerk reaction to recent video of biker riding between lanes of traffic and being squashed by a bus or truck. Have seen many kids (especially) screaming through dense traffic weaving in and of lanes just waiting to be c!obbered by a lane changer or opening door.
    Cheers, Rob.
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    he did say it was $16 so i'm assuming 400 baht?

    i did learn early on here that MB's should stick to the left side of the road.
    never ever heard of it being enforced but that stretch of road the MiB are giving a hiding ATM,including random breath test check points and others where they are setup for intense revenue raising with seemingly farangs targeted.
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    I would have thought this was correct too. (Undertaking). Fine is surprisingly high though.

    Yes you can overtake to the right of a vehicle when riding a motorcycle, but not to the left.

    Ian's post is a bit ambiguous......

    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

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    Last edited by Fionn; 24th May 2015 at 18:02.
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    ^^^ 555 but not a single word about being 'confident' excluding one from these rules.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    Fionn ain't fucking around!! 555
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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    i'll have to set a week aside to go through that lot!
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    My point being that if ANY of those well presented rules and laws were actually enforced where they SHOULD be enforced then the country would operate efficiently... but it doesn't. The check points are set up for one reason only... to collect "graft" money. No way was I speeding, or impeding traffic, or causing problems. It was a pure and simple tax grab from an obvious tourist... white guy with a white beard. None of the above rules and laws are EVER enforced on the highways and roads where they actually might do some good. The radicals in some Islamic countries enforce their rules as well... they just cut people's heads off or stone them to death. It tends to curb tourism.

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    Them's the rules 5555
    Not their fault if you don't know them. I get the odd speeding fine and I pay up. Actually I wait for the summons first before paying up. And yes the local traffic cops place speed traps where they best know they will catch errant drivers, me included.
    Whether or not it is to raise revenue or placed in a position when you would least expect is not the issue. We all know how the system works, so no sence in complaining when it works against us.
    Besides I wish my speeding fines were just 400 bhat.
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    The southern USA used to have "speed traps" just around a corner near small towns. After the word got out, tourists and people traveling through started avoiding these towns, and the town's over-all revenue dropped. I suppose that is what Thailand wants. It goes hand in hand with the huge fuck-up with all tourist murder investigations.

    Like I already mentioned... I understand the risks involved with riding in Thailand and I'm not going to take the risks that the police want me to take. I'll continue to ride where I have the least risk of an accident. If it means paying the occasional extortion "fee" then so be it. Saying that my incident was NOT extortion is just silly gibberish when everyone knows how Thai police operate.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน MarcTwoSix's Avatar
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    There is no way I am reading Fionn's Illiad of vehicular rules

    But I think you broker a traffic law and got caught and fined
    Really nothing to complain about fella

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    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน PeteGill's Avatar
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    All swings and roundabouts at the end of the day. We just need to accept that along with the good we will experience the other side of how things work.
    Life is too short to let it get to you Ian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcTwoSix View Post
    There is no way I am reading Fionn's Illiad of vehicular rules

    But I think you broker a traffic law and got caught and fined
    Really nothing to complain about fella
    How would a police officer even know I broke a law if he could not see me until I just approached the check point? That was the case, and they had two separate lines of slow moving vehicles when I approached the check point.

    I'm not going to argue about a silly point. I know the reason for the check point and the reason why I was stopped. I was a farang who could be fleeced... simple as that. It is easy enough to find some law in the book to charge me with. It could have been anything, real or imaginary.

    I agree with PeteGill... it is just one of the things that happen in Thailand that you expect when you travel a lot... which I do. I just call it a tax collection method.

    As I've said maany times... the things that sometimes annoy me are also the very things that make this country so fascinating... like going for a simple walk through the city while trying to avoid all the things that can hurt you: low hanging metal awnings, wires set to trip you, holes in the pavement, vehicles parked that force you into moving traffic... from both directions no matter which side of the street you are on. The list is a long one.

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