Bovine 911

Last night, Nam, Max, and I saw something I’ve been expecting to see ever since I came to Thailand.
We had finished dinner at a restaurant just down the road and were on our way home in the Cefiro when we came upon flashing lights at a big curve. A police pickup blocked the view from the rear, but when we passed by we got a clear view of the latest road casualty: A young white cow of the type that used to frequent our yards, locally (and also commonly) known as Brahmans.
When I first started driving around here I was sure this type of accident would be commonplace, but as it turns out, people seem to make sure their animals are in at night. Sometimes cows or small herds of them get away from their keepers during the day when they are set out to graze, but I’ve never seen them on the roads after dark.
This all leads to the question of liability… It seemed that the only party injured last night was the cow, but that could very easily not have been the case… Which party is legally at fault in Thailand? I only know of one related case, personally: A coworker was driving down a country highway and hit a fighting cock trying to run across. The owner ran out from his house and demanded 3000 Baht ($90 US) in compensation. My coworker refused to pay and drove on, and insists this was both legal and the right thing to do.
I’m going to have to ask more people about this.

One Reply to “Bovine 911”

  1. Last summer I read something on the thaivisa.com forum on this issue.
    I was curious what would happen when a cow would inevitably get hit; who would have to pay for damages?
    It seems that as Dylan puts it, “The times they are a-changing”.
    Farmers used to sue drivers and get compensated.
    Now, drivers are suing farmers for negligence and winning.
    We’ve seen ample proof of wandering Brahmins dragging their tethers as they cross the busy highway, as well as the “invisible cowherd” syndrome.
    As for hitting a chicken crossing the road, isn’t there a joke about that?

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