Chaos in Pattaya: Motorbike taxi drivers tarnish tourist hotspot

Photo courtesy of Pattaya Mail

Pattaya City and Banglamung district officials are grappling with a surge in incidents involving motorcycle taxi drivers, jeopardising the area’s status as a top tourist destination.

Disturbing reports have surfaced, highlighting assaults on foreign tourists and harassment of individuals mistaken for ride-hailing service drivers. These altercations have frequently escalated into heated verbal confrontations and even physical violence.

In response to the growing concerns, Banglamung District Chief Weerakit Manarojkit convened an urgent meeting yesterday, July 4 to tackle the escalating issues. According to regulations implemented in 2020, Banglamung district boasts 809 registered motorcycle taxi stands and 4,575 motorbike taxi drivers. However, a significant number of drivers and vehicles remain unregistered, sparking demands for stricter regulation and enforcement.

Jamlonglak Khunwat, head of the Chon Buri Provincial Transport Office, Banglamung branch, acknowledged the ongoing efforts to register motorcycle taxis and public motorcycle drivers but admitted that turnout has been disappointingly low. The registration process requires applicants to undergo training and hold a private driver’s licence, with additional certification for those operating under ride-hailing apps.

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The meeting also centred on proposed penalties for misconduct among motorcycle taxi drivers. These include fights, overcharging, and unauthorised rental services.

A subcommittee proposed a point deduction system: initial offences would incur fines and point deductions in line with Transport Department regulations, while repeated offences could lead to licence suspension or removal from taxi stands. Taxi stands with recurrent issues might face temporary closure, with the most severe cases potentially resulting in permanent shutdown, reported Pattaya Mail.

In related news, a motorbike taxi driver in Phuket Town was on the run after allegedly stabbing a colleague during a heated argument. The violent dispute occurred on April 22, at the fresh market on Ranong Road.

In other news, two women reached out to several Thai news agencies to seek justice after a motorcycle taxi rider physically assaulted them in Soi Pattaya 4 after they complained about the rider failing to signal before turning.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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