A Thai bus driver and a ticket collector on the number 75 public bus have been fined for abandoning a sick teenager on the side of the road in Bangkok. The teenager had fainted on the bus.
A Thai woman who witnessed the incident urged a news platform on Facebook to spread the story to the public so the staff could be punished.
The woman said the incident happened on a pavement near the Wat Phraya Krai Police Station in Bangkok’s Bang Kho Laem district at around 6pm on Saturday, September 16. The woman explained that the ticket collector carried the boy off the bus and left him on the pavement before climbing back on the bus.
The boy was sitting on the ground and looked exhausted. The woman said she rushed over to check on him and learned that he had fainted on the bus. She gave him a bottle of water and some medicine and stayed with him until he felt better.
The boy revealed that he had taken the bus from Yan Nawa district to go home on Soi Pracha Uthit 27. The woman offered to help him contact his parents, but the boy refused, saying that his mother had died and his father was at work.
Another woman came to check on the boy and revealed that she had been on the same bus. She got off at the next stop to check on the boy. She added that she and other passengers were shocked to see what the staff had done to the boy. The woman later accompanied the boy home.
The witness added that she was unable to take a picture of the number plate of the public bus and only remembered that it was bus number 75.
After the story went viral on social media, many netizens assumed that the bus must be under the jurisdiction of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) but BMTA director, Kittikarn Jomduang Jaruworraphonkun, revealed that public bus number 75 belonged to a private company.
Kittikarn made known that it is BMTA policy to provide first aid to passengers or take them to a hospital if they are ill. In his personal opinion, the actions of the bus staff violated human rights and morality. However, he did not know whether the action violated the rules of the private company or not.
However, the Department of Land Transport investigated the matter further and found that the 75 bus was a BMTA-affiliated bus. The driver was allegedly identified as Ukkim Larbjit, and the ticket collector was Lamom Pipuannork.
The two insisted that they had not abandoned the boy and that he wanted to get off alone. However, the two admitted that they saw the boy sitting on the pavement and he looked ill but did not offer any help. They said it was rush hour and they had other passengers to attend to.
The Land Transport Department reported that the action was in breach of Section 104(4) of the Land Transport Act: failing to have regard for the safety of passengers while using the service. The penalty was a fine of 1,000 baht each, 10 points would be deducted and both would have to undergo three hours of training.
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