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Police confiscate more 100 vehicles from drunk drivers in Songkran safety blitz

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Police confiscate more 100 vehicles from drunk drivers in Songkran safety blitz | The Thaiger

PHUKET: More than 100 drunk drivers in Phuket have had their vehicles confiscated by police in the first three days of the Songkran ‘Seven Days of Danger’ road-safety campaign.

Impounding vehicles driven by drunk drivers is part of the National Council for Peace and Order’s ‘No Drink Driving’ campaign during the Songkran holiday. It requires that officers hold vehicles seized from drunk drivers until the end of the campaign on April 17.

Officers confiscated vehicles from 59 drunk drivers yesterday, bringing the three-day tally up to 107 impounded vehicles.

Six of the drivers who had their vehicles confiscated were foreigners, who, in addition to driving under the influence, were not wearing helmets, confirmed an officer from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Phuket Office.

Updated Phuket statistics issued by the DDPM for traffic offences during the first three days of the campaign are as follows:

– Riding a motorbike without wearing a helmet – 2,182 people
– Riding an unsafe motorbike – 10 people
– Driving under the influence of alcohol – 120 people
– Driver and/or passengers failing to use seat belts – 161 people
– Driving without [carrying] a valid driving license – 1076 people
– Speeding – 0 people
– Failing to stop at a red light – 31 people
– Driving on the wrong side (ghost-riding) – 38 people
– Overtaking in a restricted zone – 13 people
– Using a mobile phone while driving – 54 people

Although there have been no fatalities on Phuket’s roads since the safety campaign began on Monday, the DDPM has recorded 28 accidents and 34 injuries in the province.

“I am very pleased that the death toll on the roads remains at zero after three days,” said Sirisak Skoonsorutcha, chief of the DDPM Phuket Office. “Making it past April 13 with no deaths is very encouraging. We hope that his year we will meet our goal of zero road-deaths during the campaign.”

Other provinces, however, have not been so fortunate.

By the second day of the safety campaign, the number of road fatalities nationwide stood at 116, which is a 97-per-cent increase from the same period last year, the Road Safety Directing Center announced yesterday.

So far, there have been 907 road accidents nationwide, which injured 981 people, higher than last Songkran’s total of 723 accidents and 765 injuries.

Drunk driving and speeding were the two biggest factors leading to the road carnage, at about 33 and 35 per cent respectively, while 80 per cent of the accidents involved motorcycles, said Dr Sopon Mekthon, permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry.

Buri Ram Province recorded the highest number of fatalities at eight, followed by Prachin Buri with seven and Phichit with six. Chiang Mai has the highest number of casualties at 48, followed by Udon Thani at 37 and Phitsanulok and Lampang at 32 each.

Chiang Mai also has the highest number of accidents at 45 cases, followed by Udon Thani at 34 and Nakhon Si Thammarat with 32. So far, Samut Prakan is the only province that has not reported a road accident, while 23 provinces, including Phuket, have not reported any deaths from road accidents.

On Tuesday alone, there were 520 road accidents nationwide, killing 64 people and wounding 550 others, Dr Sopon said. Officials at 2,125 checkpoints arrested 104,484 law violators – most of whom were nabbed for not wearing a helmet or failing to present a driver’s licence.

As to whether the center would adjust its plans considering that the death rate has almost doubled, Dr Sopon insisted that the authority’s plans were perfectly fine.

DDPM Chief Chatchai Phromlert said that April 13 usually saw the highest number of deaths through road accidents every year. Since more than half of such deaths involved locals, he said the center has instructed provincial authorities to have local administrators warn motorists to be more careful and refrain from traffic-law violations.

Meanwhile, Col Narat Sawetanant, director-general of the Probation Department, yesterday said that his agency was coordinating with hospitals to have drunk drivers arrested during Songkran provide public service at hospitals and morgues. He said the court would order drunk-driving offenders to perform at least 48 hours of public service in these facilities.

He added that such public work would help the offenders become aware of the consequences their actions can have and also reduce drunk-driving-related accidents by 10-20 per cent.

A source said that the number of Songkran drunk drivers under probation was high and that Bangkok had the highest number of such parolees. In 2011, there were 6,032 drunk-driving offenders on probation nationwide, compared with 5,005 in 2012 and 4,691 in 2013. The number of cases dipped to 3,826 in 2014 and rose to 4,051 in 2015.

As for the agency’s moves to apply ‘social measures’ to punish probation-breaching individuals, Mr Narat said that his department was officially cooperating with two agencies on the initiative.

From December to February, the Land Transport Department, which screens driving licence applicants, found that 570 of the applicants were term-breaching parolees. The National Office of Buddhism found 108 parolees trying to be ordained as monks.

— Kongleaphy Keam

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

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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