Phuket holiday road deaths down, but injuries up

PHUKET: In sharp contrast to the high road death toll around the country, only two fatalities were reported in Phuket between December 27 and January 1. Four people died in the province during the same period last year. Where Phuket did record scores more in line with the national statistics was in the number of people injured on the roads – 494 over the holiday, a rise of 30% on last year. Of these, 331 were men and 163 women. The highest number came on January 1, when 137 people were hurt. Ampaipan Pawawattananusorn of the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) told the Gazette, “Most of those who were injured were teenagers, and the majority of them were drunk.” K. Ampaipan said that a further six people died from non-traffic-related causes, while another 442 people required treatment during the six-day period as a result of stabbings or shootings, or simply because they had eaten or drunk too much. Of these people, 286 were men while 156 were women. Pol Lt Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen, Deputy Superintendent of Phuket Police Station, said that the police had set up one roadblock, on Chao Fai Nai Rd, on December 28 between midnight and 3 am. A total of 68 people were stopped and breath-tested. Of these, 38 were found to have been drinking, with 15 of them over the legal blood alcohol level. Under Thai law, anyone over the legal limit is subject to penalties of up to three months in jail, or a fine of up to 10,000 baht, or both. But in this case the police took a lenient view. “We let them sit by the road and gave them cold towels until they felt better,” Col Teerapol said. “Then we let them go.” The police breath-test campaign will continue until the end of February. Col Teerapol declined to say where and when the police will strike next.

Phuket News
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