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Unlicensed foreigners in 60% of Patong motorbike accidents

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Unlicensed foreigners in 60% of Patong motorbike accidents | The Thaiger

PATONG (TNA, Gazette): The poorly-regulated “motorbike for hire” industry in Patong has contributed to an alarming number of motorcycle accidents in Kathu district, where more than half of the 500 accidents reported to Kathu Police involved unlicensed foreign motorcyclists, the government’s Thai News Agency (TNA) has reported.

With many motorcycle rental shops in Patong, foreign tourists and expats can easily rent a motorcycle without having a license, as this is not strictly monitored by the authorities, TNA reported.

For many tourists, renting a motorbike in Patong is an attractive option as a single ride in a tuk-tuk in the resort town, which charges the most expensive tuk tuk fares in the country, will cost about the same or less as the rental of a motorbike for a 24-hour period – about 150 baht.

Kathu Police Superintendent Col Grissak Songmoonnark was quoted as saying, “About 60% of motorcycle accidents are from unlicensed foreign motorcyclists, but there are so many unlicensed foreign motorcyclists that we can’t check the exact number. We can count only when accidents occur.”

Local residents have also expressed their concern about some foreign motorcyclists whose reckless riding has tarnished the image of one of the world’s top tourist destinations. Some foreigners simply do not even know Thai traffic rules. Many like to ride fast, frightening local people and other foreign tourists seeking a peaceful holiday, the TNA report read.

“They always ride fast and crosscut other cars. I’m so scared I will crash one day,” one local resident was quoted as saying.

However, the Land Transportation Department on Phuket insists tourists and expatriates can ride motorcycles in Thailand only when they have been issued a motorcycle license by the department.

Motorbike licenses are obtained by submitting identification documents and a work permit or an address guaranteed by the Thai Immigration Office, then passing written and practical tests. The process can be done in a day.

There was no mention in the TNA report of any impending crackdown of the many outfits who rent motorcycles to foreigners without a license.

In most cases, all the renters need to do is hand over their passport as a form of surety.

Motorbike rental is also popular among some Thai criminals, who use the vehicles when carrying out crimes such as “snatch and runs” thefts.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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Hot News

Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

Kritsada Mueanhawong



Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

Kritsada Mueanhawong



TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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German man dies in Phuket motorcycle crash

Kritsada Mueanhawong



German man dies in Phuket motorcycle crash | The Thaiger

A German man has died after a motorbike crash in Thalang.

The Thalang Police were notified of the incident last night on Srisoonthorn Road in Baan Manik, Thalang.

The German man, 53 year old Carsten Elfried Koch, was the driver of a motorbike and sustained critical injuries as a result of the crash. He died at the scene.

Police believe that Mr Koch was heading back to his home in Cherng Talay at high speed. He lost control at a curve on the wet road.

His body was taken to the Thalang Hospital for an autopsy. Officials have informed the German Embassy in Thailand.

Police didn’t report if the man was wearing a bike helmet or not.

German man dies in Phuket motorcycle crash | News by The Thaiger

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