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Survival guide on crossing roads in Thailand


EricTh

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Let's look at the cases here.

 

1. Crossing anywhere on the road 

 

I've seen many Chinese tourists simply crossing anywhere on the road and thinking that all cars will stop for you. This is the wrong thinking because the roads are built for the cars to use and not pedestrians. I always shout loudly at these ignorant people when I am on my bike and they cross in front of me.

 

2. Crossing the road on the crosswalk

 

While it is true that by law the pedestrian has the right to cross the road and cars should stop, the pedestrian should at least wait until there is a comfortable distance from incoming cars and walk quickly across. Imagine you are the other party in the car  and somebody else suddenly started walking in front of you, do you want to make an emergency brake?

 

Again, I've seen many tourists both Europeans and Chinese thinking they can take their own sweet time walking across the crosswalk.

 

Please remember that Thailand is still a developing country and not a developed country like Europe or America where everybody strictly abides by the law. Most drivers in developing country (not just Thailand) won't stop at a crosswalk just for you.

 

Survival guide in Thailand or any developing county (like China):

 

  • Wait until there's a comfortable distance between any car and you
  • Walk across the road quickly (and not take your own sweet time while talking on the phone etc)
  • Do not have this thought that everyone behaves like the people in Europe or America. 
  • You should care for your own lives and do not think that ALL people (some people do) should care for you more than their ownselves.

 

Edited by EricTh
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Great you have kicked this off Eric as it is a subject close to my heart. Maybe add ;

 

When crossing at the junction of side roads with major roads be particuarly aware of any traffic that might turn into your road - oftentimes corners are obscured by parked cars, lamposts, street food vendors. And please remember Thailand's roads are the second worst for fatalities and major injuries IN THE WORLD.

 

I have previously commented in the Pattaya sub-forum ;

 

Whilst on our last two month stay overwintering in Thailand we spent a week in Pattaya - in that time saw two old farangs get hit by vehicles on Pattayta Saisorng - one elderly gentleman walked awaty after been run over by a motorbike taxi opposite Central Festival - he was very shocked but walked away probably seriously bruised but very lucky. The second was far worse was another OAP with his farang OAP wife crossing the soi from the second road that leads to Centara Grand. He was crushed under the wheels of a delivery van turning right down that soi. His wife was holding his head up weeping uncontrollably as they waited for the ambulance. They were well dressed , smart people - it was the day after Valentine's day at 8am in the morning (quieter roads make for faster more reckless driving IMO) and like us were enjoying a early morning stroll before it got too hot to do anything but chill. Their romantic dream holiday in Thailand had just turned into a life changing nightmare. But for Thailand just yet another day of mindless , pointless - carnage on the roads.

 

Mai bpen bloody rai - no problem - all you can do is take extreme care yourself and warn others.

Edited by beautifulthailand99
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Hi Eric,

 

many thanks for that topic. It's really a great summary and I hope it helps more people crossing the road safely :)

 

In my humble opinion I would not "shout at the Chinese tourists" as you said. We are a guest in this country and your shouting could be misunderstood and lead to more problems.

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6 minutes ago, cerox said:

Hi Eric,

 

many thanks for that topic. It's really a great summary and I hope it helps more people crossing the road safely :)

 

In my humble opinion I would not "shout at the Chinese tourists" as you said. We are a guest in this country and your shouting could be misunderstood and lead to more problems.

Misunderstood as what??? He's angry and shouting. Kinda speaks for itself...

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Crossing the roads became a whole lot easier once the Chinese arrived. You just get a group of them on your "hit side" and cross when they do. Even when cars coming they have to brake for the Chinese (if too late I guess they hit the Chinese). Either way you are free to cross because traffic will have stopped. Don't know how I ever survived without them !

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Just now, canthai55 said:

I learned how to cross the road when I was a child.

Next Topic - how to get out of bed safely ...

 

Surprisingly, most adults don't know how to cross safely.

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35 minutes ago, beautifulthailand99 said:

 

When crossing at the junction of side roads with major roads be particuarly aware of any traffic that might turn into your road - oftentimes corners are obscured by parked cars, lamposts, street food vendors. And please remember Thailand's roads are the second worst for fatalities and major injuries IN THE WORLD.

 

 

Yes, I never cross near junctions, I will walk further from the junction so that I can see incoming cars turning into my road.

 

 

Edited by EricTh
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1 hour ago, cerox said:

Hi Eric,

 

many thanks for that topic. It's really a great summary and I hope it helps more people crossing the road safely :)

 

In my humble opinion I would not "shout at the Chinese tourists" as you said. We are a guest in this country and your shouting could be misunderstood and lead to more problems.

You obviously have not been in Thailand very long. We are "not" guests in this country, not the way we are treated by Thai immigration etc, etc.

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"because the roads are built for the cars to use and not pedestrians. I always shout loudly at these ignorant people when I am on my bike and they cross in front of me."

   An unfortunate example.....methinks

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And of course be aware of the 'turn left' rule at red traffic lights!

 

Just because it is a one way street and all the cars and bikes etc; have stopped it does not preclude a vehicle from turning left against the red light if it safe to do so at junctions that allow it.

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In Thailand I've witnessed issues on both sides of this so called fence... 

 

1) Pedestrians crossing the road, taking their time with complete indifference to your presence. I've seen 'Western tourists' walking down the road, in front of my car, then appearing angry with me because I'm behind them waiting to pass... 

 

2) Cars not adjusting their speed, slowing down or stopping out of consideration for crossing pedestrians, almost to the degree that if a car is accelerating they won't stop accelerating and head straight towards the passing pedestrian. 

 

 

Summary - On average, those crossing the road and those driving could do with a healthy dose of mutual respect for the other. 

Edited by richard_smith237
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A couple of weeks ago I was on my way at 8.00 am to the Military Hospital in Udon Thani for blood tests crossing a six lane road to get there crossing is a pedestrian controlled with lights always have to be cautious got over to the median strip after oncoming traffic stopped looked to my left at the oncoming traffic O/S and middle lane cars stopped as was a M/B in the middle lane inside lane nothing along comes Mr Big Fat Thai in the middle lane either still asleep or drugged up realized at the last minute traffic is stopped clipped the back of the other M/B and was heading for me I was lucky I was a able to take a backward step put my arms in the air got  hit on the inside of my right elbow big bruise all I got 10 meters  down the road was a sorry gesture my only regret was had there been a car on the inside lane he would have rear ended it then I would have given him the same gesture.  

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Quote

Please remember that Thailand is still a developing country and not a developed country like Europe or America where everybody strictly abides by the law. Most drivers in developing country (not just Thailand) won't stop at a crosswalk just for you.

Actually Thailand is officially a newly industrialized country and is no longer considered developing. 

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Even at a very young age I was afraid cars would knock into me when I cross the road, may be I was born paranoid but it saves my life.

When I look at some tourists crossing the roads I get very worried for them, they took their sweet time, and a truck coming at full speed would finish them off.

I think it is the duty of the government to warn their citizens of the dangers of traffic accidents in overseas countries. Pamphlets should be distribute to travellers at the airports, warning them of the dangers.

 

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1 hour ago, madusa said:

 

When I look at some tourists crossing the roads I get very worried for them, they took their sweet time, and a truck coming at full speed would finish them off.

 

 

 

There are lots of people who still think that texting or talking on the phone is more important than their lives.


 

Edited by EricTh
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Never ever assume you're safe crossing a crosswalk without looking at incoming traffic.

 

Incidentally, I found this video of a woman who died from walking on crosswalk recently.

 

WARNING! Don't watch this video if you're squeamish

 

Edited by EricTh
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1 hour ago, EricTh said:

Never ever assume you're safe crossing a crosswalk without looking at incoming traffic.

 

Incidentally, I found this video of a woman who died from walking on crosswalk recently.

 

WARNING! Don't watch this video if you're squeamish

 

 

Good example of how to not cross the road , even if it's on a zebra crossing.  I don't think this video is from Thailand but I have seen it so many times in the traffic here.

 

Always look left and right, left and right when you cross , it doesn't matter if it's a green light for pedestrians.   

 

 

 

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Do not assume a motorist will stop for you. Assume you are invisible and act accordingly

 

Check both sides, and again. An entitled ass in  a Fortuner may be speeding on the wrong side of road to overtake a line of cars to make a right turn.

 

 

 

 

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Just now, Dipterocarp said:

Do not assume a motorist will stop for you. Assume you are invisible and act accordingly

 

Check both sides, and again. An entitled ass in  a Fortuner may be speeding on the wrong side of road to overtake a line of cars to make a right turn.

 

 

Unluckily, most Europeans/Americans think that people in developing countries think the same way as those in developed countries.

 

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first time here some 30 yrs ago an old thai man in bkk told me how to cross the road here. Never forgot it I am still here and never a close call.

go slowly across looking both ways little by little one lane at a time if need be. drivers will go around you. and in my experience they do.

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15 hours ago, dotpoom said:

"because the roads are built for the cars to use and not pedestrians. I always shout loudly at these ignorant people when I am on my bike and they cross in front of me."

   An unfortunate example.....methinks

And footpaths, sidewalks, pavements, call them what you will, are built for pedestrians to use not motor vehicles. I always shout loudly at ignorant drivers and riders when I am walking and they get in my way.

 

 

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Just now, Keesters said:

And footpaths, sidewalks, pavements, call them what you will, are built for pedestrians to use not motor vehicles. I always shout loudly at ignorant drivers and riders when I am walking and they get in my way.

 

 

 

There are some bikers who use the pavements to drive the other way.

 

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I've been here a bit over a year.  I have received a "love tap" by four tour buses.  Their mirrors are huge.

No harm no foul.  One side bar.  On a visit to Beijing a couple of years ago my local contact told me in China it is about eye contact.  If a pedestrian makes eye contact with an oncoming driver, the driver has the right of way.  If they don't the pedestrian has the right of way. That would be suicide here, but it might explain some of the Chinese tourists here. I would rather be paranoid, than a road kill statistic.

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