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Driving motorcycle far left of your lane…is it law?


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Anyone know for sure if Thai law says you must ride 2 wheel vehicle on the far left side of your lane next to the ditch!

Is it an actual law or just a safer place to ride for some for slower traffic?

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23 minutes ago, johng said:

As far as I'm aware the law says that "slower" vehicles should be in the left lane (not the ditch)  and that after overtaking a slower vehicle the faster vehicle should also return to the left lane..in other words the left hand lane is the "normal" driving lane.

In practice on most roads that far left lane (next to the ditch) also called the shoulder in most western nations, is the fast lane to avoid car traffic..that's of course if the moto is not going the wrong way which is also commonplace especially during rush hours 

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1 hour ago, johng said:

As far as I'm aware the law says that "slower" vehicles should be in the left lane (not the ditch)  and that after overtaking a slower vehicle the faster vehicle should also return to the left lane..in other words the left hand lane is the "normal" driving lane.

It's the law and a very practical and logical act. 

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1 hour ago, johng said:

As far as I'm aware the law says that "slower" vehicles should be in the left lane (not the ditch)  and that after overtaking a slower vehicle the faster vehicle should also return to the left lane..in other words the left hand lane is the "normal" driving lane.

I should have been more clear…..I’m referring to two lane highways….one lane in each direction. 

Edited by Kanada
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8 hours ago, jackdd said:

But don't confuse the hard shoulder for a lane.

Here a random Thai highway:

lanes.jpg.b438864ac2ae32733c3526ad199c9fff.jpg

 

The left most lane is the "green" one, you are supposed to drive there, the "yellow" one is for overtaking.

Driving in the "red" lanes is against the law, most Thais don't know this though. It's also just dangerous to drive on the hard shoulder, especially on the outer one, thus should be avoided anyway.

That’s the answer I was hoping for….it makes sense to me!

Dangerous riding on the hard shoulder for any length of time…the ditch or jungle or a ravine is always right there but most people do that it seems!

Unfortunately riding left in the green lane is dangerous too but that’s just the way it is!

Thank You for that….that’s what I’m doing now and hope your info. is correct👍

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7 hours ago, Kanada said:

 

Unfortunately riding left the green lane is dangerous too

riding there is the most dangerous place.

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9 hours ago, Kanada said:

Unfortunately riding left in the green lane is dangerous too but that’s just the way it is!

Often times an oncoming vehicle will expect you (anyone)  to move over to the far left  when they are doing illegal/dodgy overtaking manoeuvrers, stubbornly standing your ground and refusing to move over could be lethal...it's almost always a larger vehicle bullying a  smaller/motorcycle they expect/demand that you move..they are coming through like it or not !!!

Also just to add to the "excitement"  the far left/hard shoulder as mentioned is often used by motorcycles as a counter flow lane  where "strangely"  they insist to stay on the right hand side of that lane ( their right) and expect bicycles/motorcycles to pass them on the right (their left)

but seem to move over for pedestrians or push carts.

 

I tend to ride  to the left or middle of the left lane   and move over to the far left/hard shoulder when a speeding maniac is approaching from behind and when the traffic starts to get heavy and slow, if you are riding like an 80 year old Sunday driver  it is "expected"  by other road users  that you will be in the far left/hard shoulder lane...because slow traffic should keep to the left.

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I once got ' done ' whilst riding a motorcycle down Sukhumvit. My crime ? I rode in the right lane.

 

I had been riding in the left lane until a non air con bus sped past then cut in front of me to stop at a bus stop and let passengers get off. I past the stationary bus on the right and moved back into the left lane. A hundred meters further on a member of the BIB flagged me down and had 100 baht off me for this. Needless to say I protested strongly. He gave me the usual choice of coughing up or accompanying him to the station to state my case there.  I had a hotty on the passenger seat and opted to decline his generous offer.

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14 hours ago, johng said:

Often times an oncoming vehicle will expect you (anyone)  to move over to the far left  when they are doing illegal/dodgy overtaking manoeuvrers, stubbornly standing your ground and refusing to move over could be lethal...it's almost always a larger vehicle bullying a  smaller/motorcycle they expect/demand that you move..they are coming through like it or not !!!

Also just to add to the "excitement"  the far left/hard shoulder as mentioned is often used by motorcycles as a counter flow lane  where "strangely"  they insist to stay on the right hand side of that lane ( their right) and expect bicycles/motorcycles to pass them on the right (their left)

but seem to move over for pedestrians or push carts.

 

I tend to ride  to the left or middle of the left lane   and move over to the far left/hard shoulder when a speeding maniac is approaching from behind and when the traffic starts to get heavy and slow, if you are riding like an 80 year old Sunday driver  it is "expected"  by other road users  that you will be in the far left/hard shoulder lane...because slow traffic should keep to the left.

Agree but drivers tend to creep on me or I should say appear out of nowhere in my mirror 

my Aerox mirrors give a wonderful view of my shoulders however that’s my issue nothing to do with traffic laws!

From what I’m reading here I think I have my answer…I’ll ride left left left  side of left lane but not on the shoulder!

Its the same in every country on the highways…the safest place is always out in front of the traffic….not 20 km’s slower with everyone forced into passing you!

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On 9/21/2021 at 8:42 AM, Kanada said:

I should have been more clear…..I’m referring to two lane highways….one lane in each direction. 

.

Well, duh, then you definitely want to stay left....

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by HeijoshinCool
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On 9/21/2021 at 7:32 PM, zzaa09 said:

It's the law and a very practical and logical act. 

which is completely  ignored especailly after dark  by  lorries  who  now sit  in the outisde lane continually..............i wish I had  a  rocket  launcher  built  into my pick  up, id  have to restock it daily

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15 hours ago, Denim said:

I once got ' done ' whilst riding a motorcycle down Sukhumvit. My crime ? I rode in the right lane.

 

I had been riding in the left lane until a non air con bus sped past then cut in front of me to stop at a bus stop and let passengers get off. I past the stationary bus on the right and moved back into the left lane. A hundred meters further on a member of the BIB flagged me down and had 100 baht off me for this. Needless to say I protested strongly. He gave me the usual choice of coughing up or accompanying him to the station to state my case there.  I had a hotty on the passenger seat and opted to decline his generous offer.

This used to be fairly common in Bangkok. 

 

The Police were actually in the wrong and incorrectly interpreting ‘highway’ regulations and applying them to motorcycles only within the city. 

 

There was no law which states specifically that motorcycles must remain in the left lane.

 

The Police made up their own regulation for Sukhumvit road and started stopping motorcycles.

 

Why? because they (the Police) themselves do not know the law. They learn the regulation from their superiors. Thus, when one superior has the wrong interpretation of the law everyone (Police) below him also use the wrong interpretation of the law, Police quickly realised this was a ‘money maker’... as is common, the wrong thing becomes the accepted norm and people ‘think’ its the law. Having to ride a motorcycle in the left lane only was never a law. 

 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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On 9/23/2021 at 11:38 PM, jackdd said:

But don't confuse the hard shoulder for a lane.

Here a random Thai highway:

lanes.jpg.b438864ac2ae32733c3526ad199c9fff.jpg

 

The left most lane is the "green" one, you are supposed to drive there, the "yellow" one is for overtaking.

Driving in the "red" lanes is against the law, most Thais don't know this though. It's also just dangerous to drive on the hard shoulder, especially on the outer one, thus should be avoided anyway.

Exactly this...   

 

The ‘shoulder’ is sometimes interpreted at the left most lane or a motorcycle lane. This is incorrect. 

 

That said, if you are on a highway such as that exampled above in the photograph and you are travelling at 40kmh while traffic is passing you at 80kmh + you are better off riding on the shoulder. 

 

But, if you are maintaining highway speeds along with other traffic, the best lane to ride in is left (real lane - marked with the green tick above) unless, of course, overtaking something in the left lane. 

 

Ultimately, each situation is individual each road is different, traffic is busier at some times than others. Sometimes the left most lane (real lane) is in atrocious condition and everything is riding in the right most lane anyway. 

 

The safest lane is the lane we choose at each given situation when evaluating the road, conditions, traffic, speed etc.... 

 

 

I almost never ride on the left shoulder - IMO its too dangerous, the road has grit, rubbish, other vehicles use it for parking, motorcycles coming the wrong way, dogs walking out etc etc... 

 

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6 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

This used to be fairly common in Bangkok. 

 

The Police were actually in the wrong and incorrectly interpreting ‘highway’ regulations and applying them to motorcycles only within the city. 

 

There was no law which states specifically that motorcycles must remain in the left lane.

 

The Police made up their own regulation for Sukhumvit road and started stopping motorcycles.

 

Why? because they (the Police) themselves do not know the law. They learn the regulation from their superiors. Thus, when one superior has the wrong interpretation of the law everyone (Police) below him also use the wrong interpretation of the law, Police quickly realised this was a ‘money maker’... as is common, the wrong thing becomes the accepted norm and people ‘think’ its the law. Having to ride a motorcycle in the left lane only was never a law. 

 

 

I wish you could have been with me there on the day. Then you could have taken him to one side and explained it all.  Thus distracted me and hotty could have ridden away un noticed.

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On 9/21/2021 at 7:42 PM, Kanada said:

I should have been more clear…..I’m referring to two lane highways….one lane in each direction. 

Left hand lane (not shoulder) as marked by the green arrows. 

 

To add a little greater details: 

Left side of the left lane, depending on how polished the asphalt / surface is.

Right side of the left lane, to give better vision around a corner (if necessary)

Rarely in the centre of the left lane which is where there may be oil spilt from trucks etc, but sometimes on a poor quality road this may be the best position if the ’tyre tracks’ from 4 wheeled vehicles have degraded the road.

 

Each road is different...  There really is no ’single’ better way than other which applies to all conditions. 

Regarding the law - Ignore it and choose the safest option. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2021-09-25 at 10.38.12.png

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10 minutes ago, Denim said:
18 minutes ago, richard_smith237 said:

This used to be fairly common in Bangkok. 

 

The Police were actually in the wrong and incorrectly interpreting ‘highway’ regulations and applying them to motorcycles only within the city. 

 

There was no law which states specifically that motorcycles must remain in the left lane.

 

The Police made up their own regulation for Sukhumvit road and started stopping motorcycles.

 

Why? because they (the Police) themselves do not know the law. They learn the regulation from their superiors. Thus, when one superior has the wrong interpretation of the law everyone (Police) below him also use the wrong interpretation of the law, Police quickly realised this was a ‘money maker’... as is common, the wrong thing becomes the accepted norm and people ‘think’ its the law. Having to ride a motorcycle in the left lane only was never a law. 

 

 

Expand  

I wish you could have been with me there on the day. Then you could have taken him to one side and explained it all.  Thus distracted me and hotty could have ridden away un noticed.

You probably did the easiest thing which allowed the situation to be dealt with in the easiest manner - this of course plays into the hands of the BiB who are only interested in getting money. 

 

I’m stubborn when it comes to these situations. I’ve been stopped by the BiB a few times in the past and have been let go because their argument is flawed.

 

These days in Bangkok, when I’ve been stopped by the BiB (rare occasion now) - they seem disinterested in a Westerner, as if they know we have our ducks in a row and its a waste of their time (just my opinion). 

 

The ‘left lane only’ Sukhumvit thing seems to have stopped, I’ve not heard of or seen the BiB pulling over bikes for this on Sukhumvit rd for a while now. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And to develop and contribute more to the discussion... Where to ride in the city on a 3 laner *(i.e. Sukhumvit Rd, Petchaburi rd, Rama IV rd etc)...

 

Never in the left side of the left lane - too many other motorcycles pull out without looking or vehiclesjust stop without notice. 

Never in the right side of the right most lane, too many vehicles pull out, u-turning, or just stop without notice. 

 

Riding down the ‘middle lane’ with either on the right or left depending on where traffic is in your blind spot. command the lane rather than allowing traffic to push you to the side. 

 

In gridlocked, stationary or very slow queuing traffic - the only way to get through the traffic is to lane spilt and the lane discipline goes out of the window !! 

 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2021-09-25 at 10.57.21.png

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On 9/23/2021 at 11:38 PM, jackdd said:

But don't confuse the hard shoulder for a lane.

Here a random Thai highway:

lanes.jpg.b438864ac2ae32733c3526ad199c9fff.jpg

 

The left most lane is the "green" one, you are supposed to drive there, the "yellow" one is for overtaking.

Driving in the "red" lanes is against the law, most Thais don't know this though. It's also just dangerous to drive on the hard shoulder, especially on the outer one, thus should be avoided anyway.

The outer red x to the right of yellow is very often the best smooth road surface. 😇

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Just now, Kanada said:
22 hours ago, HeijoshinCool said:

 

.

Well, duh, then you definitely want to stay left....

 

 

 

 

.

If you took a second to read my question I asked about the law…not practice and common sense…d’uh 🤣

 

22 hours ago, HeijoshinCool said:

 

.

Well, duh, then you definitely want to stay left....

 

 

 

 

.

If you took a second to read my question I asked about the law…not practice and common sense…d’uh 🤣

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22 hours ago, seedy said:

To those who do not keep a very close eye on what is in your mirrors

I would add you should use your neck and eyes too that action does pick up more than mirrors.

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