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Police mull special driver licence for big bikes

Police are considering a change to existing laws governing motorbike licences; specifically licences to drive big bikes.

If the draft currently being discussed comes into force, a special licence will be required for anyone wanting to ride a bike of 400cc or more, and they may get one of these licences only when they reach the age of 30.

Pol Col Ekkarak Limsunggas, Deputy Commander of the Traffic Division of the Royal Thai Police in Bangkok, is behind the drive to change.

He told The Phuket News today (April 9), “I was thinking about ways to improve safe driving on roads. That’s when I had this idea.

“Big bikes are heavy and have more power than normal motorbikes. We think that older people are more responsible on the road.

“We considered the engine size and are thinking of 400cc. But we are open to people’s opinions. Some have said the minimum age [for a big bike license] should be 20 or 25 rather than 30.

“Once the new rules come into force anyone who qualifies to drive a big bike can come and upgrade their license by redoing the driving test to show that they can handle a big bike safely and correctly.”

But he stressed that the details are by no means set in concrete yet.

He added, however, that whatever shape the new rules take, anyone caught riding a big bike on an ordinary bike licence is liable to be charged with driving without a licence.

“Police officers will be part of a committee to consider the idea with officials from the Ministry of Transport. We have just presented the concept to them.

“We expect the discussions to go ahead soon, with any changes to be brought into law by the end of this year. They will then apply to the whole country.”

His comments come as the annual Phuket Bike Week, which features many big bikes, is about to launch.

The managing director of the Bike Week organisers, Wittaya “Sumon” Singkalah, told The Phuket News, “If we had a special licence for big bikes that would be very good. We have to follow the law, anyway, and [many countries] abroad have licensing laws for big bikes.”

However, he disagreed about a minimum age limit being set. “I think it would be better for people to have an ordinary bike licence for two years before they can apply for an upgrade to a big bike licence.”

Thai law currently allows people over the age of 15 to ride bikes up to 110cc on a “temporary” licence. When they reach 18 they can get a full licence which allows them to ride any size of bike.

Phuket News

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