Dave's friend Paul should have known that he needed a Thai
Driving Licence or an International Driving Permit together with his foreign Driving Licence. That being said the regular fine for driving without a valid licence is only 400 baht (see picture I found on internet), up from 200 baht.
In December 2017 a new form of traffic ticket is being introduced (see pictures from Bangkok Post).
Note that one of the possible offences is: Beyond the stop line when waiting for the traffic light. Many
motorcyclists, also farangs, seem to ignore that. I find this strange as this rule also applies in Farangland.
The Pattaya mayor has announced a war on smokers. Heavy 5,000 Baht penalties will await those who break the law come February as the local authority rolled out their campaign to stop beach smoking.
Sophon Cable TV reported on the mayor beginning the
anti-smoking war with a large number of officials and operators in attendance at various events on Jomtien Beach.
The Pattaya authorities gathered together beach chair operators and Thai traditional masseuses gathered for 'training' and the
message was clear - help us rid the resort of smokers on beaches and in forbidden places.
It seems that the mayor has ideas t extend the smoking ban to other areas, but it is not yet clear where.
Meanwhile the toilets on Dong Tan Beach in
Jomtien have been designated as smoking areas.
In a bizarre over reaction to the problem of cigarette butts littering Thai beaches, the authorities are introducing massive fines and jail time for tourists transgressing a no smoking ban, to be introduced in November this year.
The measure will be
introduced initially in 20 of the resorts most popular with foreign visitors including Phuket and Pattaya. The ban, which will come into effect next month, will apply to beaches in the provinces of Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla, and
includes the popular resorts of Koh Samui and Pattaya.
t comes after the country's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) said it had retrieved tens of thousands of cigarette butts left in the sand. The head of the department, Jatuporn
Buruspat, said that up to 138,000 cigarette butts had been collected by the environmental group over a 2.5km (1.5 miles) stretch of Patong beach in Phuket. Jatuporn added that the while smoking will be prohibited on the beaches affected by the measure,
there will be designated areas further inland where smokers will be able to smoke and drop their litter in provided containers.
Jatuporn Buruspat said that officials were also considering measures aimed at tackling the related issue of cigarette
butts being dropped by tourists from boats.
One of the areas affected is looking forward to the collections of fines. A representative of the Hua Hin authority has announced that tetsakit, tourist police, and what was termed 'beach police'
would be patrolling to enforce the ban. On a slightly more positive note, the Hua Hin authorities are considering a lower fine of 2,000 baht. But it still has to be a terrifying prospect of commission based wardens being a little over-zealous with
imaginative enforcement methods.
And in another new measure targeting beach goes, Pattaya authorities have introduced a ban preventing beach vendors from selling alcohol. The measure came into force at the start of October this year but early
reports suggest that the new prohibition is not yet being enforced and that beers and cocktails are still readily available.
Pattaya's authorities have decided to side with local 'metered' taxis who illegally refuse to use their meters and charge inflated fares. The local authorities have decided to ban smart phone based services Uber and GrabTaxi that operate on predetermined
and distinctly cheaper rates. And as a token gesture to Pattaya's overcharged taxi patrons, the 'metered' taxis have been told to start using their meters...as if.
The high rates charge by 'metered' taxis have allowed discounted unlicensed competitors
as well as cars using Uber, GrabTaxi, or even just arrangements using Line, have caused a bit of friction by undercutting the high traditional rates, inevitably leading to violent confrontation. Hence the police and Pattaya authorities getting involved.
From a quick survey of Pattaya forum postings, the rates from Uber and GrabTaxi seem to be about half of the prices charged by 'metered' taxis. So a typical 300 Baht fare across town is likely to be more like 150 from the competing operators.