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BANGKOK 22 May 2019 05:47
chang1

Driving the car in violation of the yellow light signal

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What does the yellow/orange/amber light mean in Thailand? I have just been fined 500 Baht for going through lights when on Amber. I was well past the junction before they turned red as seen in the bottom evidence photo and the violation was as in the heading. These lights had a timer display so you know when they will change. I have always thought amber means get ready to stop or keep going if you can clear the junction before the red light. If it means stop (when there is a time count down display) why not just go straight to red?

Does the Thai highway code have two meanings for amber? One with a count down timer and another for ordinary lights.

IMAG3336.jpg

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In your defence - there is no evidence you went through the junction on a Red traffic light.

 

You are before the Junction when the light is Amber.

You are through the junction when the light is Red.

There is no photo showing you before the junction or in the junction when the light is Red.

 

It also depends on the timing of the Amber light vs speed vs stopping distance.

i.e. if the Speed Limit is 50kmh on that stretch of road

The Stopping Distance is 35meters at 50kmh

 

It looks like your truck is 20-25m before the junction (in the photo with the Amber light).

 

If the Camera was timed to take the photo just as the light turned Amber, you did not have sufficient time to stop.

However, if the camera is programmed to take photo's 2 seconds after the Amber light has been illuminated - Then you had time to stop (reaction time is said to be 1.5 sections used by accident reconstruction specialists) 

 

Thus: a lot depends on the 'timing' of the first (top) photograph. 

 

 

 

 

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In the UK I think you are safe as long as you cross the stop line before the lights change to red.

As there was a count down timer I could easily have stopped but as I would clear the junction before red I didn't.

Looks like yellow and red mean the same thing.

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It's a few days ago so hard to remember but I would say the first photo was as it changed. 

Hope other people learn from my mistake and stop while the lights are still on green and not risk going through on yellow, if there is a count down timer. I guess you have to rely on ESP. at normal lights.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, chang1 said:

It's a few days ago so hard to remember but I would say the first photo was as it changed. 

Hope other people learn from my mistake and stop while the lights are still on green and not risk going through on yellow, if there is a count down timer. I guess you have to rely on ESP. at normal lights.

 

Indeed... the only rule which could make sense is that you have to stop before the line before the light turns Red. The Amber is a warning that the light will turn red, thus stop if safe to do so. 

 

But, we all know how these rules get misunderstood over time as they are passed down from officer to officer, colleague to colleague... Or in this case, poorly translated from a British Highway Code into Thai, then back in to British for the British Translation of the Thai Land Traffic Act !!!... 

 

Personally, I think you have grounds to object to this if you can be bothered - there is no evidence you went through the junction on a red light. 

 

If you have the time, the inclination and the interest it could be an interesting discussion with someone at the DLT.

 

Alternatively, if you can't be bothered with any of it, don't bother paying the fine. My Wife and I have a couple from last year (3 I think) - a couple of White Line infractions (crossing a fixed white line) and one Expressway speeding fine (each 500b). 

 

We haven't paid any of them and renewed our tax a couple of months ago, so I don't think the Tax-DLT-Police Fines systems are linked yet. 

 

(someone is bound to comment about not paying fines - they are of course correct - I just don't care to pay it and if payment is not being enforced then I'll go along with the farce !)

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by richard_smith237
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, richard_smith237 said:

The Thai Land Traffic Act very closely resembles the British Highway Code. 

 

In the British Highway Code the Amber light is an Instruction to stop before the line, if safe to do so. 

Thus, if its wet and there's a HGV behind you - don't slam on the brakes, it's not safe to stop. 

But, if you are not surrounded by traffic and the light turns amber with enough time to stop, you should stop. 

 

I don't think its illegal to go through an Amber light in the UK. 

However, the translation of the Thai Land Traffic act is not as clear... i.e. if you are doing 50kmh 5meters before the junction and the light turns to amber, it's impossible to stop, thus the fine could be harsh. 

 

Depending on your speed in the photo you posted - it looks like you may have had time to stop on Amber.

 

 

Section 22 o the Land Traffic Act.

Meaning of traffic light:

Green: the driver may drive the vehicle through

Yellow: the driver shall prepare to stop the vehicle behind the stop line. If the driver has passed the stop line when the traffic light turns yellow, he may go through.

Red: the driver shall stop the vehicle behind the stop line.

 

 

"I don't think its illegal to go through an Amber light in the UK."

It is, just as in Thailand. If not passed the stop line yet, one has to stop at amber.

 

" Personally, I think you have grounds to object to this if you can be bothered - there is no evidence you went through the junction on a red light.  "

Which is not the reason he was fined. He was fined for driving through amber when he could have and therefor should have stopped.

Edited by stevenl
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" In the UK I think you are safe as long as you cross the stop line before the lights change to red. "

 

Dunno how it works in other countries but in the U.S. your vehicle must clear the far side stop line before the red signal. 

 

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15 hours ago, chang1 said:

I have always thought amber means get ready to stop or keep going if you can clear the junction before the red light.

"...or keep going if you can clear the junction before the red light".

What?  Which country, anywhere, states that?

 

"I have always thought amber means get ready to stop..."

You got that part right.

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It means put your foot down and get across quick.

 

The red light means exactly the same but only as long as it hasn't been showing for more than 5 seconds.

 

There is an allowance of a further 2 seconds I believe if you are in a real hurry or know a police officer. 

 

(Just to be clear, that was an attempt at humour :)

 

Simon 

 

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7 hours ago, stevenl said:

"I don't think its illegal to go through an Amber light in the UK."

It is, just as in Thailand. If not passed the stop line yet, one has to stop at amber.

 

" Personally, I think you have grounds to object to this if you can be bothered - there is no evidence you went through the junction on a red light.  "

Which is not the reason he was fined. He was fined for driving through amber when he could have and therefor should have stopped.

 

Stevenl - If you are driving towards a Junction at 50kmh (~30mph) as you are approaching the junction (10m away) the light turns Amber - there is no way you can stop (stopping distance is quoted as being 23m in the highway code).... 

 

You will have entered the junction on Amber - it would have been impossible not to, you can't stop in the middle of the junction. 

 

(UK highway code) AMBER means ‘Stop’ at the stop line. You may go on only if the AMBER appears after you have crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to pull up might cause an accident.

 

Thus: It is not illegal to enter or pass the junction on Amber but you should attempt to stop. 

 

 

 

 

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