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Phuket

Road safety campaign to slash Phuket death toll to 50 per year

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Road safety campaign to slash Phuket death toll to 50 per year | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Officials are moving ahead with a campaign to reduce the number of deaths on Phuket’s roads to just 50 per year within the next three years.

Last year, 116 died in road accidents in Phuket.

The move is part of a nationwide campaign to reduce the road accident death toll in conjunction with the United Nations’ “Decade of Action for Road Safety”, which aims to reduce the global toll from the current 3,500 lives lost every day in traffic accidents around the globe.

Dr Weeraphan Suphanchaimat, vice president of a national committee tasked with tackling road safety issues, chaired a seminar at The Metropole hotel in Phuket Town yesterday, which was attended by more than 350 representatives of organizations assisting in the project throughout Southern Thailand.

Among the representatives, from all 14 southern provinces, were police officers, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) officials, members of local administration organizations, provincial health officers and even representatives from the Phuket Land Transportation Office and the Royal Thai Air Force interceptor and attack Wing 7 detachment from their base in Surat Thani.

Dr Weeraphan explained to the gathering that the road-safety committee had set a target of reducing the national road death toll by 30 per cent by next year.

Dr Wiwat Seetamanotch, deputy director of the Phuket Health Office, said, “According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million people die in road accidents each year. In Thailand, more than 16,000 people were killed and nearly a million people were injured in road accidents last year alone.”

Despite the carnage, driving behavior was not improving, Dr Wiwat said.

“About 30 per cent of drivers involved in road accidents are drunk. Also, only about 50 per cent of people on motorbikes were wearing helmets, or a seat belt when travelling in a car,” he said.

Dr Wiwat added that the Department of Highways estimated that road accidents across Thailand in 2008 alone cost the national economy about 232 billion baht.

“The government sees that this is as a serious problem, so they have joined the United Nations’ ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020’ campaign. The target [of the campaign] is to decrease the number of deaths to less than 10 people per 100,000 by 2020,” he explained.

“According to the information we have, the number of the deaths in road traffic accidents per 100,000 citizens in Southern Thailand is considered relatively high when compared with other parts of the country.

“However, Phuket is one of the top three provinces in the country for having the most motorbike riders wearing helmets. We have found that this has helped to reduce the number of deaths in traffic accidents in Phuket by 40 per cent, when compared with [the number of deaths] just five years ago.

“Hopefully, in the next three years the number of the deaths on Phuket’s roads will be less than 50 people per year,” said Dr Wiwat.

As part of the campaign, the Phuket Highways Office is spending 84 million baht on making 40 road accident “black spots” across the island safer.

“The Highways Office has already spent 40mn baht on the project, and work has already begun on 20 black spots, including the curve at Baan Kor En in Mai Khao,” Dr Wiwat said.

“In the past, there were a lot of road accidents on that curve, but recently there have been almost none,” he added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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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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