Speeding on the Bangkok Motorway

Before my arrest for copyright infringement by the Thai Cyber-Cime Police I owned a Toyota Altis 1.8, the poor man’s BMW, although my Thai friends referred to the car as a souped-up cab, since the Altis 1.6s. On drives from Pattaya to Chai-nat I avoided driving through Bangkok to avoid the predatory cops on the elevated motorway, although sometimes when the traffic was light I zoomed through Krueng Thip to cut 50 Kms off the trip. Once I was stopped by the police at the tollbooth. I had done nothing wrong, but the officer said my license plate was out of order and demanded a 1000 baht bribe or ‘sin bon’ for the daily whiskey fund.

“Mai mii.” I showed the 100 baht bill in my wallet.

“Khun mai mii taeng?” He couldn’t believe that a farang was busted flat.

“Mai mii.”

“Farang kee-neo.” He waved me on with disgust hoping to recoup his loss with more lucrative victims.

In recent years the motorway police had enlisted a new weapon into their repertoire and have operated a radar gun, so anyone going over the 120 KPH speed limit will be subjected to a fine, since the actual speed limit on the Motorway is 80 KPH. The fine remains the same, which is as much as they think you can afford on the spot.

Years ago I drove to Berlin through East Germany. The speed limit was 90KPH. Any faster and the DDR cops stopped with with machine guns drawn to extort the $100 fine.

This announcement by the Thai cops meant that they were turning back the clock to the time of Emil Honecker, the DDR dictator, although they assured the public, “Do not fear, we will not be going after anyone traveling faster than 120.”We are only after habitual speeders.”

Habitual means everyone.

In 2011 over 29,000 speeding violations were prosecuted to the fullest penalty of 500 baht. More than 5000 were women and the police said nearly 61,000 violators were caught by radar, meaning you have a 50/50 chance of not having the fine by blowing past the cops if you can outrun them.

The fastest speed ever radared by Thai police was 227 KPH, which is well below the European record set by a BMW 7 series at 325 KPH on the French Autoroute outside Strasbourg. The fastest I’ve driven on the Bangkok motorway is 170 KPH

I once drove a VW GTI Golf at 240 on the Belgian highway. I thought the speedometer was broken, but no one ever worried about the police crackdown, because the police targeted cars four times a week at rush hours and never on Saturdays and Sundays when they’re recovering from hangovers financed from their unreported traffic stops plus the police are supposedly going to post signs saying ‘speed traps ahead’ in Thai and English.

So full speed ahead, which depends strictly on your engine and road conditions which off the elevated motorway is 160 at best.

None of those fines go to fixing the roads.

In plain language they suck.

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *