Connect with us

Phuket

We can’t save drivers from themselves: Phuket police

Published

 on 

PHUKET: There will be no concerted effort by Phuket police to ramp up road safety despite six people – including three teenagers – being killed in road accidents in less than 24 hours last weekend.

Phuket’s road nightmare began on August 8, when Red Mountain Golf Course caddy Sakon Banchongkaeo, 34, died after the motorbike on which she was riding pillion collided with a pick-up truck on the Koh Kaew-Nakok Road, often used as a shortcut from Thepkrasattri Road in Koh Kaew to Patong (story here).

At about 9pm that night across town, Winai Laksanawilart, 45, died instantly when the motorbike he was riding collided head-on with a passenger van on Rassada-Nusorn Road (story here).

Witnesses said Mr Winai was heading east at high speed and crossed into the oncoming lane as a van was heading toward him, said Lt Col Chaliao Thaihoo of the Phuket City Police.

“He died instantly,” said Col Chaliao. “His head hit the road and he was not wearing a helmet.”

Less than three hours later, three teenagers suffered fatal injuries after the car they were travelling in spun out of control and slammed into a power pole on Phra Phuket Road in Kathu.

The driver, Hassanee Wangtan, 18, from Cherng Talay, died at the scene, pinned behind the wheel. Passengers Supissara Boonmee, 16, and Sutthinee Thabtawee, 17, were pronounced dead on arrival at Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket Town about 30 minutes later (story here).

Two other passengers, Sawaros Sangthong, 18, and Nassarin Supornhemhirun, 17, survived the accident. Ms Sawaros was transferred to Phuket International Hospital with chest pains and severe bruising. Ms Nassarin underwent an operation at Vachira Hospital to mend broken bones.

Then, before dawn that same night, Italian tourist Dario Bartotati, 32, died after the Ducati motorbike he was riding slammed into a roadside ditch in the hills to the north of Karon (story here).

Mr Bartotati died of severe head trauma. He was not wearing a helmet, said police.

“Our job is law enforcement, to make sure motorists do not break traffic laws. This is all we can do to protect people from accidents,” Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Sakchai Limcharoen told the Phuket Gazette on Wednesday.

“We are always setting up checkpoints and charging people for not wearing helmets. At least 1,000 people are fined each month for not wearing helmets, but anyone can see that motorists here do not follow the law. They know the laws, but they choose to ignore them.”

Other than static checkpoints, Col Sakchai offered no other strategy by the Phuket Police to reduce the carnage on the island’s roads.

According to Col Sakchai, the four main factors that cause road accidents are: the driver, the vehicle, the road and the environment.

“Drivers are the worst issue faced by police,” he said. “Roads are not our responsibility, but they can be fixed. If the road is in poor condition, then drive carefully.

“Vehicles can maintained to be kept safe, but that too is a driver’s responsibility, and we cannot do anything about environmental factors – such as strong wind and rain – so it is up to the driver to be careful.”

Col Sakchai said that there are 1,500 police officers stationed on the island to protect the people, which he said was far too few to be effective in improving road safety.

“These 1,500 officers look after local residents and tourists – we are doing our best. The police are not shirking their responsibility, but if you want to be safe on the road, then it is up to you,” he said.

“If you ride a motorbike, wear a helmet. If you are going out drinking, then don’t drive. This will save your life and you will not be arrested by police. Road safety is easy once you make a habit of it.”

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chon Buri13 hours ago

Faulty wiring, poor construction, unsafe materials in Mountain B fire

Chon Buri13 hours ago

Mountain B: Owner out on bail, Bangkok club inspection, viral moment

Central Thailand15 hours ago

Thai woman murders her abusive boyfriend in front of a monk

Sponsored22 hours ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

North East15 hours ago

UPDATE: Sexy Thai model fined 5,000 baht for dancing topless in club

Thailand15 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Poll says 64% Thais had enough with PM Prayut

North East15 hours ago

10 year old killed & 5 injured after pickup hits motorbike sidecar

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime16 hours ago

Court releases Mountain B owner on bail for 300k baht following fire in eastern Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Thailand has 5 BA.2.75 antibody-resistant Covid-19 sub-variant

Tourism16 hours ago

UK student conquers mountain in Thailand blindfolded

Home Services16 hours ago

Top 5 reasons to get a maid service in Thailand

Cambodia17 hours ago

Nigerian monkeypox case who fled Thailand is banned from Cambodia for 3 years

Thailand17 hours ago

Red Shirts lead rally against Thailand PM on August 23

Bangkok18 hours ago

Emirates is recruiting cabin crew in Thailand

Thailand18 hours ago

Netizens slam cannabis firm for encouraging underage users

Transport18 hours ago

Drunk driver in 2 hit-and-runs drags motorbike taxi 300 metres

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year 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

Trending