Phone use has to be handsfree
Motorists who use a mobile phone while driving must use a handsfree wireless connection under a new police regulation now in force nationwide, government deputy spokeswoman Tipanan Sirichana said on Friday.
Ms Tipanan said making the handsfree connection mandatory is intended to reduce accidents, injuries and loss of life.
A Royal Thai Police Office announcement issued under Section 43 (9) of the Land Traffic Act of 1979, which prohibits drivers from using a phone or communication radio, unless they also have auxiliary equipment enabling them to talk without holding the device, took effect on Oct 7, she said.
Drivers are allowed to use mobile phones while at the wheel on the condition they have a wireless connection device or speakerphone affixed, so they don't have to hold the phone.
The wireless connector must be fitted to the front of the vehicle and must not obstruct the driver's view. A driver needing to operate a mobile phone manually must park the vehicle before doing so.
Violators are liable to a fine of 400-1,000 baht.
The announcement is subject to a review after five years, based on public feedback.