A new law was recently introduced in Thailand making it compulsory for passengers to wear seat belts when using inter-provincial buses and public vans. The law was proposed last year and came into effect last month with violators facing a fine of up to 5,000 Baht.
Bus operators also face fines and the prospect of having their operating licences withdrawn if they do not equip their vehicles with seat belts. Reputable bus operators in Thailand such as the Transport Co, Green Bus and Nakhon Chai Air already meet legal requirements. Signs have been put up at bus terminals advising passengers to buckle up and some bus operators also make announcements on board.
To comply with the law, tourists are advised to use their seat belts when travelling on any public mini-van, tour bus or inter-provincial bus in Thailand. Not all forms of road transport in Thailand will have seat belts (e.g. tuk-tuks, songthaews and local buses) but if the vehicle is equipped with seat belts the onus is on the passenger (not the driver or bus company) to ensure they are worn.