Connect with us


First road death recorded in “Safe Songkran’



First road death recorded in “Safe Songkran’ | Thaiger

PATONG: Within minutes of government officials urging people to ride safely, Sarawuth Kohavee became the first road fatality in Songkran week in Phuket. About noon his motorbike, bound for Phuket City, slammed into the rear of a six-wheel truck as it turned into a soi in Chalong, near the entrance of Phuket Vanich Company. K. Sarawuth was not wearing a helmet. In Patong, the “ride safe” speeches that began at 11 am to mark the opening of Bike Week had just concluded. Most telling of the points made were that Thailand has a high and costly road toll and that, statistically, Phuket rates as the worst province in the country. Bhokin Bhalakula, the Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Songkran Safe Riding Campaign, told a gathering at Patong’s football field that the government now realized the seriousness of Thailand’s road toll, which costs the country 100 billion baht a year – equivalent to more than 2% of GDP. Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura said that statistics showed there were two road deaths in Thailand every hour. If that were not bad enough, he added, 4,000 people each year are left with lifelong handicaps – including lost arms, legs and eyes, or permanent brain damage. “In addition, there are costs in social terms and to the country’s development that cannot be calculated,” he said. During Songkran, the toll is as much as four times the average level. He revealed that in Phuket, 137 people died on the roads in 2003, which represented 50.26 people for each 100,000 of the population – the highest death rate in the country. The tragic forecast is that as many as 157 people will die on the roads in 2004 unless driving habits and abilities can be improved, Gov Udomsak said. As a result, this Songkran officials in Phuket are working hard to preserve lives, he said. Some 40 checkpoints have been set up, manned by about 500 police and government officers, and Songkran waterplay – frequently blamed for causing accidents – is limited this year to major zones at Saphan Hin, Suan Luang, Patong, Rawai and Nai Yang as well as smaller local zones. The Phuket Provincial Office reported today that checkpoints established on Friday had, in the first three days, netted 359 people without motorcycle or car driving licenses, 86 people who were not wearing helmets, 54 who were not wearing seat belts, 20 who were driving drunk, and six riding motorcycles modified in an unsafe fashion. In that time, there had been 85 accidents, with 96 people injured, in addition to the death of K. Sarawuth, Metha Mekarat, Chief of the Phuket Office of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM) told the Gazette. Meanwhile Minister Bhokin, having urged people to drive safely during Songkran and Bike Week in Phuket, headed for Pattani and a forum seeking peaceful ways to resolve the violence in southern provinces. Asked about the Australian government’s travel advisory warning citizens to avoid Phuket and Pattaya as well as the South, he said, “Phuket still looks good and normal. Many tourists still come to Phuket, I see. “People who stay here will feel that it’s okay while some people may have concerns about events in the southern provinces.”


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

World16 hours ago

Thai gangs traffic Kenyans to Myanmar scam factories

South17 hours ago

Deep South emergency decree extended 3 months

Thailand17 hours ago

Why Is Thailand So Cheap?

Sponsored2 days ago

Where you can get cannabis in Bangkok

Expats18 hours ago

Phuket’s 5 best golf courses

Crime18 hours ago

Inmate who escaped Khon Kaen hospital back in custody

Coronavirus (Covid-19)19 hours ago

Masks recommended in crowds amid Covid increase

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime20 hours ago

Squabbling beach vendor gives rival a single bullet warning

Tourism21 hours ago

Russian invasion takes Thailand’s tourism forces by surprise

Road deaths21 hours ago

Late night drinking hopes dashed by Alcohol Control Committee

Thailand22 hours ago

Why Pattaya? Is Pattaya worth visiting in 2023?

Transport22 hours ago

Thai Airways appoint new CEO

Crime23 hours ago

Private jet in ‘Tuhao’ case still flying free

Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | FIFA threatens to pull plug on World Cup broadcast rights in Thailand

Press Room2 days ago

Iconic chef “Alain DUCASSE” returns to Bangkok for 3rd anniversary celebrations of Blue by Alain Ducasse

Koh Samui2 days ago

VIDEO: Naked Russian man walks around with erection in Koh Samui

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11