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What language so you speak with the police?


Sofa King High
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Really only run into cops since moving out of Bangkok and into Chon Buri where I also started driving a motorbike. I was doing the seasoned farang for the first two years. You know, like I've been around the block and there are easier targets out there. At checkpoints it did seem to get me waved on immediately a couple times.

For the past year, however, I've switched it up and gone into overly friendly tourist mode. "Me? Well I'm from A-mer-i-ca. Where are you from?" (insert big smile). It's for fun, but I also figure it will cut down on the depth of questions they could ask. Better stick to "Where come from?" "How many days stay Pattaya?" and "20,000 fine for no mask too much. You help me, I help you."

Probably doesn't make too much difference at the end of the day. They've always got me dead to rights with no helmet or no mask and if they're looking for a payout  they'll get it in either language.

So, go on then. Which approach do you take and how has it worked out? Any funny stories?

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The only time I ever spoke with a Thai cop was in Bangkok.  A cabby was taking a longer route than necessary, and my wife called him on it. He said in Thai, “why can’t we both make some money off this farang,” and she came unglued. He pulled over, we got out and I still don’t know what’s going on. She pays him and he throws the money in her face.  That sets me off.  The driver goes to his trunk and grabs a pipe and I square up with him. Behind him I see three more Thai men stand up from the sidewalk table where they had been drinking. 

About that time, two boys in brown pull up on a motorcycle and settle things down.  The wife does the talking mainly, but the cops ask me in English if I want to do anything with the cabby, I say no and they send him off.
 
Then one of the cops stepped into the road and flagged on another ride for us and we went on our way. 

That’s it for me and the police in Thailand.  Same as in the States, I try to stay under their RADAR. 

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As with a previous poster, I am inclined to follow the law. Wear a helmet and carry my licence…… I figure stopping at a police check point is a waste of my time and theirs, thus often ignore them and carry on without stopping. On the odd occasion that I have been stopped I just flash my licence. I am disinclined to speak at all, despite being a native speaker of English and a fluent speaker of Thai….. Just can’t be bothered entering into any conversation with them.

Edited by Micky2
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I live in Sattahip and locally I get waived on the instant I wind my window down. My guess is the cop doesn’t speak English and can’t be bothered. 

I don’t drink and drive but this is almost always the case even if it’s a breath test checkpoint.

Its an exact opposite to the scenario in Pattaya, where they seem to target foreigners. Here they are only interested in Thais. 

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On 29/12/2021 at 10:17, whitespider said:

I live in Sattahip and locally I get waived on the instant I wind my window down. My guess is the cop doesn’t speak English and can’t be bothered. 

I don’t drink and drive but this is almost always the case even if it’s a breath test checkpoint.

Its an exact opposite to the scenario in Pattaya, where they seem to target foreigners. Here they are only interested in Thais. 

Same for me although I've never encountered a checkpoint here. Three year in Sattahip, three in Bangkok, never had a copper say a word to me. Pattaya? Forget it. They're like white on rice.

 

So what language do you engage them in?

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On 29/12/2021 at 08:20, Micky2 said:

As with a previous poster, I am inclined to follow the law. Wear a helmet and carry my licence…… I figure stopping at a police check point is a waste of my time and theirs, thus often ignore them and carry on without stopping. On the odd occasion that I have been stopped I just flash my licence. I am disinclined to speak at all, despite being a native speaker of English and a fluent speaker of Thai….. Just can’t be bothered entering into any conversation with them.

Ever had them go after you for not stopping? I'm inclined to keep going when they pop out of their police box and wave me over. Worried it would lead to a chase though.

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When in country areas of Thailand, every time I’ve been pulled over I speak English really really fast, they wave you on very quickly.  
 

My personal experience is never speak Thai with the police, it won’t get you any favours. 

Edited by TNTucker
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34 minutes ago, Sofa King High said:

Ever had them go after you for not stopping? I'm inclined to keep going when they pop out of their police box and wave me over. Worried it would lead to a chase though.

There have been instances where the person fleeing a checkpoint was shot off their motorbike or run/kicked off the road by pursuing BIB, resulting in serious injury or death.

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34 minutes ago, TNTucker said:

When in country areas of Thailand, every time I’ve been pulled over I speak English really really fast, they wave you on very quickly.  
 

My personal experience is never speak Thai with the police, it won’t get you any favours. 

That you, Steve?

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1 hour ago, Sofa King High said:

I'm inclined to keep going when they pop out of their police box and wave me over. Worried it would lead to a chase though.

On 29/12/2021 at 08:20, Micky2 said:

I figure stopping at a police check point is a waste of my time and theirs, thus often ignore them and carry on without stopping.

Both of you ignored the police and kept going? I saw two checkpoints the other day and there must have seven cops at each. Pulling people over for no helmet and/or masks I assumed. What's the fine for no masks?

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1 hour ago, sudsy said:

Both of you ignored the police and kept going? I saw two checkpoints the other day and there must have seven cops at each. Pulling people over for no helmet and/or masks I assumed. What's the fine for no masks?

I've never had the balls to keep going. First time no mask is a good several thousand as I understand it. Then progresses to 20k. I've only been done once. He asked me for 1k, I countered with 500 and he quickly accepted.

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I definitely wouldn’t advise ignoring the police 👮‍♀️ if you have been flagged to stop. Often police checkpoints will have another cop stationed further down the road. Additionally what sort of impression of Falang does ignoring an order to stop leave with our hosts?

I am impeccably polite in any situation involving Thai officialdom. As I speak basic Thai, when stopped by police it’s a case of putting on a big smile, whipping out my drivers license, and saying Sawadee Khup Kuhn Tamruat Khup…Pom put Thai dai nit noi Khup (Hello officer, I’m sorry I only speak a little Thai). Normally the cop smiles back and says - Kuhn put Thai dee mak Khup (you speak good Thai)….waving me through he says OK mister go.

My neighbour is a Major in the RTP, he says this type of politeness goes down very well with police.

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21 hours ago, Sofa King High said:

Ever had them go after you for not stopping? I'm inclined to keep going when they pop out of their police box and wave me over. Worried it would lead to a chase though.

Nope…. Just give them a wave and carry on, unless they are actually obstructing my way.

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19 hours ago, sudsy said:

Both of you ignored the police and kept going? I saw two checkpoints the other day and there must have seven cops at each. Pulling people over for no helmet and/or masks I assumed. What's the fine for no masks?

Move toward the middle of the road and either not even acknowledge their presence (as locals often do), or give then a wave. Do not know what the fine is for no helmet or licence as I always have both….. Never fined in more than 15 years.

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13 hours ago, LOTTELLEE WINNA said:

definitely wouldn’t advise ignoring the police 👮‍♀️ if you have been flagged to stop. Often police checkpoints will have another cop stationed further down the road.

Exactly!

 

These guys talking about not stopping...I find that interesting. I always stop if they wave me over, so does everyone else I've seen.

 

They have just recently had checkpoints here in Pattaya. 

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If in my old age my brain stops working properly and I forget to wear a helmet them I will be highly appreciative towards the cop for reminding me, I will pay the fine and also tip him for looking out for me!

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1 minute ago, ShortTime said:

If in my old age my brain stops working properly and I forget to wear a helmet them I will be highly appreciative towards the cop for reminding me, I will pay the fine and also tip him for looking out for me!

I always wear my helmet and have my IDP but getting senile now and I once found myself approaching formal stop without a helmet, turned right down side street, no pursuit, mostly police have no interest speaking with a foreigner, even if they know some English the foreigner may not.

Running from a night time formal stop could be bad.  These stops may be for alcohol test but may also be for Thai crime, think yaba guns, stolen vehicles arrest warrants and the BIB are thinking gunfight, calm and speaking polite does well.

The police on those CBR250/300 can really rock them, sans gloves, sans helmet, they are up for a pursuit.

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To be sure, I've never fled. Wouldn't even cross my mind at a formal checkpoint, but three times now they've come out of their police box waving me over. Singling me out and going out of their way solely to extract a bribe. It crosses my mind to simply wave back as if they are just being friendly 🤣

Best to hang in the middle or outside lane when breaking the law near the boxes. I always wear a helmet in town, but sometimes I'm with someone spur if the moment and the passenger therefor does not. Mask is a different story. I'd rather pay bribes that ride around solo with a mask on.

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Used to be a asshole farang rent a cop helping out with checkpoints in front of Kiss Food on 2nd road, he would jump into the road and yell stop at people. I blew past that asshole so many times without stopping and the cops would laugh at him.

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