Police say no action to take on German man’s traffic fine drama in Phuket

After a German man claimed that he had to pay a traffic fine of 2,000 baht in Phuket last month, Chalong Police say there is no action to take over the accusation, since there is no record of the fine. Reports said that on February 20, the man had been riding a motorbike through the Chalong underpass.

The man said that when he exited the underpass, a policeman immediately stopped him, and told him that it was illegal to ride a motorbike through the underpass. The officer ignored the man saying that he saw no sign indicating that it was illegal to ride a motorbike through the tunnel.

The man said the officer asked him to pay a 5,000 baht fine. Since the man didn’t have that much money on him, the officer asked for 2,000 baht instead, which could be paid there on the side of the road. The man agreed to this.

The chief of Chalong Traffic Police, Pol Lt Col Jeerasit Noopayan, told The Phuket News yesterday that the incident had been investigated, and that he had called the tourist.

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Chief Jeerasit said that the man’s only concern was with the lack of signage warning people that it is illegal to ride a motorbike through the underpass. He said the man “did not mention the arrest and fine.” Chief Jeerasit went on to say…

“He did not mention the arrest. His concern was only about the prohibition sign that cannot be seen anywhere near the underpass.”

The chief also noted that the man did not post the video of the incident online himself. Chief Jeerasit said the person who recorded the video used Google Translate to communicate with the man, which could have caused a misunderstanding.

Chief Jeerasit stressed that the man did not intend to say that the police acted against the law, but rather, he just wanted to say that there was no sign prohibiting motorcycles from going through the underpass. Chief Jeerasit said…

“We have already checked and there is no record of the arrest of the German man that day… He did not say where exactly the incident happened on the phone. He said he went through an underpass and he did not say which underpass. He only said he was going to the Big Buddha Temple. It is possible that it was the Chalong underpass, but he did not confirm.”

The chief said the offence of going through an underpass with a prohibited vehicle carries a fine of 500 baht.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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