In hopes of improving our god-awful road safety record, Thailand is considering alterations to the transport laws, namely, one that would the fine for driving without a license to a healthy THB50,000 (about US$1,500).
That’s 50 times more than the current fine for those keeping score at home.
This week, Land Transport Director-General Sanit Pornmuang laid out the department’s intention to revise the country’s Land Transport and Vehicle actsin order to up the punishments for lawbreakers, Workpoint reported.
The department has proposed raising the liability in three sections, but the one that has become the talk of town is their pitch for a new unlicensed driving penalty — a THB50,000 fine and/or up to three months in jail. The current THB1,000 fine for unlicensed driving is more of a slap on the wrist in comparison.
In a country with a minimum wage of roughly THB300 (US$10) a day, many netizens view the punishment as extreme.
“So if I don’t have THB50,000, I have to jo to jail, right? What sort of law is this? You think people having a license will decrease road accidents,” said one well-liked Facebook comment.
Others say that a hefty fine — one most people won’t be able to afford — is simply giving corrupt cops a new trick to fleece citizens.
“What would you choose? Pay THB50,000 at the station or bribe THB10,000 to the cop? The police will be rich,” another commenter said.
Of course, one crazy idea would be to, y’know … follow the law in the first place, which is kind of the entire point.
If you had a license but it’s since been expired, revoked or confiscated by authorities, you’ll be in the exact same boat, by the way. The proposed amendments would see that fine shoot from THB2,000 (US$61) to THB50,000 as well, with the same potential jail time.
And finally, the fine for refusing to show authorities one’s license — which is currently a maximum of THB1,000 (US$30) — will jump to THB10,000 (about US$300).
Amid the resultant online firestorm, the department’s public relations team published a statement on Facebook, reminding netizens that the increased fines haven’t been approved yet. (So calm your nerves… for now.)
The revisions are currently undergoing evaluation by the National Legislative Assembly. If all parties are in favor of the revised law, it would take a year from its publishing in the Government Gazette to officially become effective. See? Plenty of time to get a license.
Source : Coconuts