Brits partner with Thailand over driving licences for foreigners

national February 24, 2018 14:28

By The Nation

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The Department of Land Transport has partnered with British Embassy Bangkok to improve driving licence procedures for foreign nationals across Thailand.

The improvements will focus on guidelines for obtaining a licence, how to prepare for the driving test, raising awareness of specific risks on the road unique to Thailand, and recaps on internationally recognised driving standards.

Deputy director general of Department of Land Transport Kamol Buranapong said this collaboration would help enhance the understanding of foreigners and protect their rights as road users under Thai laws. 

Foreigners can receive a Thai driving licence by receiving training about relevant laws and rules for using the roads in Thailand, and undertaking written and practical tests, Kamol said.

Margaret Tongue, deputy head of mission for the British Embassy Bangkok, said this important collaboration illustrated a shared aim of improving driving standards and raising awareness of specific risks on the roads, through developing engaging and accessible materials to aid the driving- test process. She said it would benefit not only British people, but also any other foreigners residing in Thailand.

Based on a survey conducted with British customers needing consular services, the partnership has helped kick start three initiatives that include the production of a 45-minute English language instructional video, covering road traffic laws, road usage, techniques for driving safely and driving etiquette. This is a part of the Thai driving test for foreign nationals.

Other initiatives are the production of a 3-minute English language video explaining the process for renewing, transferring and applying for a driving licence as a foreign national and re-translation of the online driving test for English speaking applicants.

The Department of Land Transport will use these materials for English speaking applicants at all driving test centres and transport offices across Thailand. This will ensure that foreign drivers are aware of road safety rules and regulations; the consequences of their own behaviour to themselves and to others; and law enforcement in Thailand.

According to the embassy, Thailand welcomes just over 1 million British visitors each year and it is home to more than 50,000 British people and their families.

Last year, five per cent of total casework of the Bangkok Embassy’s consular department involved providing assistance to British people involved in road accidents. 

The top five provinces for road traffic accidents involving British people are Surat Thani, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Chon Buri (Pattaya) and Bangkok.