It is hoped that this definitive list will be soon be adopted as the official driving code of Thailand, in the absence of any other such known publication, so that all drivers on the road will act in strict accordance with it.
# 1. The Mercedes Benz always has right of way.
#2. The more wheels you have, the more right of way you have. (Except when Rule #1 applies.)
#3. Anything with two wheels or less does not count as a vehicle and should be disregarded completely. Even if it’s a 1800 cc Harley Davidson the size of the average Thai house.
#4. If you need to turn off, then turn off. If that means a right-angled swerve across three lanes on two wheels so you don’t miss your turn, please go ahead. We’ll just fit in with your plan. No need to indicate your intention.
#5. If in the process of executing that turn, you cause three motorcyclists and a tuk tuk to end up in the ditch, add 5 points.
#6. Indicators should only be used in the following fashion. If someone is behind you and wanting to overtake, put on your right indicator. This means either a/ it is clear and safe to overtake now or b/ don’t overtake now a bus is coming over the blind rise at a speed approaching 130km/h. It will soon become apparent which meaning was intended.
#7. Do have as many Buddhist amulets on the dashboard as possible. If you’re involved in a fatal accident, never mind -- there’s always another life, and another …
#8. Traffic jams can be frustrating, so, as soon as you get any open space at all, get your vehicle to its highest possible top speed. As a guideline the rpm counter should be kept in the red zone in event of any open road.
#9. When joining a busy main road from a small side soi, proceed directly into the intersection without stopping – or even pausing – for other traffic. This selfishly indulgent act of stopping and checking will only cause confusion for those behind you, with the possible result of them rear-ending you.
#10. When on a motorcycle, do not wear a helmet, and ride as fast as the bike will possibly go while using cars, buses, elephants, and chickens as slalom course markers. Irrespective of traffic conditions, possible dangers lurking around the corner, and pedestrians foolishly crossing the road at a marked pedestrian crossing, maintain this speed (once again, the red zone on your rpm gauge is a reliable indicator). After all, in the event of some other idiot doing the wrong thing, you want to be killed outright, not maimed.
#11. On the subject of pedestrian crossings, these are known to farangs as ‘zebra crossings’. There are no zebras in Thailand. Ignore. Proceed as usual.
#12. Do not wear a seat-belt. This will delay you when you stop at 7-11 to buy more beer for the drive, resulting in late arrival for the party. This is not acceptable to your thirsty friends.
#13. In the event you become completely, utterly, motherlessly drunk when drinking with your friends do not -- repeat: DO NOT! -- leave your vehicle there and attempt to walk home. In your drunken state you might be tempted to actually use a pedestrian crossing on foot, without observing the golden rule of crossing any road in Thailand: look Right, look Left, look Up then look Down before you cross. The buggers will get you from anywhere!
#14. Red lights. This is merely an optical illusion – all traffic lights in Thailand consist of three different shades of green. What you think is red is actually just dark green. Proceed as usual.
As a public service for farang motorists and tourists, this code will be made freely available in Hardship Posting volume 5. See www.stulloyd.com