PHUKET: Phuket’s holiday road toll stands at eight accidents with no deaths reported after Day One of the Seven Days of Danger national road safety campaign, which began yesterday.
The statistics, being compiled by the Phuket office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), list four accidents occurring in Phuket Town, two in Kathu and two in Thalang.
Six of the accidents involved motorcycles, one involved a pickup and the other involved “another type of vehicle”.
All across Phuket last night police manned checkpoints to curtail drunk driving and to enforce helmet use and other traffic laws.
At the bus station on Phang Nga Road in Phuket Town, every bus driver must pass a breath-alcohol test before getting behind the wheel.
Conducting the breath tests are officers from DDPM Phuket, the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office (PLTO) and the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO).
The officers have set up a 24-hour counter to provide coffee, water, candies, hand fans, first aid and even blood-pressure checks – to anyone.
Inspecting the breath-test “checkpoint” in person today, Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha said, “We set up this ‘checkpoint’ to ensure drivers don’t drink and drive. I am pleased to say that no drivers have failed a breath test and all passenger buses are in good condition.”
PLTO Chief Kanok Siripanichkorn assured travellers that there will be ample buses to carry them home during the annual exodus as extra services have been scheduled.
“Ticket officers have told me there are still seats available on most regular scheduled buses, but extra buses are ready in case they are needed,” he said.
Chief Kanok added that in the weeks leading up to the holidays, from December 8 to 28, there were about 8,000 buses heading out of Phuket to take more than 200,000 passengers home.
He also reminded people of the following emergency numbers:
– 1669 (PPHO hotline) to report any kind of accidents
– 1584 (PLTO hotline) for travel information or to complain about problems with bus services
– 1784 (DDPM hotline) to report disasters, such as floods and landslides, or any kind of accident.
— Pimwara Choksakulpan
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