On the way to the airport in Udon Thani, our van driver got pulled over by some traffic cops. The policemen were pulling over most cars on the road. They asked him for his drivers license first and then walked back to his desk by the side of the road. Our van driver then followed him. From the back seat of the van I could clearly see what happened next. Open on the desk was a book of tickets. I couldn’t hear the discussion that was going on but it was obvious that the cop was taking his time in starting to write the ticket. The next thing I saw was that the van driver quietly gave the policeman some money in his closed hand. No ticket was written and the license was returned to the driver. I asked him afterwards and he said that the bribe was 200 Baht. If he had agreed to the fine, the cop had made it clear that he would have to go to the police station the next day to pay the fine and collect his license. Both of them knew that would have been inconvenient as he was based in Loei and needed to return for another tour group. He felt he had no choice.
This happens every day and every where in Thailand.