Phuket launches workshops to curb rising motorcycle fatalities

Image: PR Phuket

Phuket authorities initiated a series of workshops yesterday to address the increasing number of fatalities and injuries caused by road accidents, particularly focusing on motorcycle riders. The launch event took place at a hotel in Ratsada, with a significant turnout of district and community leaders.

Phuket Vice Governor Sattha Thongkam introduced the initiative, part of the District Drive Project, aimed at promoting safe motorcycle riding across the province.

The workshops, organised by the Phuket Provincial Office, are designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of district leaders and local government organisations in managing road safety, said Sattha.

“Phuket is experiencing an increasing number of road accidents, resulting in significant loss of life and property, which is a major obstacle to our economic development.

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“The number of injuries and fatalities continues to rise, particularly among motorcycle riders and passengers. Preventing and addressing road accidents is an urgent priority for our province.”

The new initiative is part of the Phuket Province Road Safety Action Plan 2024, which envisions safe road travel for residents in Phuket

Five main strategies

The plan integrates five main strategies: risk district management, law enforcement integration, organisational measures, public relations, and data integration. The ultimate goal is to reduce injuries and fatalities, improve vehicle standards and road conditions, and strengthen road safety mechanisms at all levels.

The Deputy Chief of the Phuket Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office (DDPM-Phuket), Charan Kwankaew, highlighted concerning statistics during the event.

“Phuket Province records over 20,000 general injuries and more than 3,000 serious injuries annually from road accidents. From 2021 to 2023, there was a significant increase in fatalities, with 96 deaths in 2021, 137 in 2022, and 168 in 2023. So far in 2024, there have been 93 deaths.”

National road safety agency ThaiRSC reported 83 deaths and 11,800 injuries in road accidents in Phuket so far this year, including one death yesterday. The majority of these accidents involved motorcycle users.

In 2023, the Department of Disease Control classified Mueang Phuket District and Thalang District as very high-risk areas, with Kathu District also considered high-risk. In response, the Phuket Provincial Road Safety Administration Center, through DDPM-Phuket, initiated its District Drive Project for safe motorcycle riding, said Charan.

“This project is funded by the [Thai Health Promotion Foundation] via the Southern Province Traffic Accident Prevention Support Plan.”

Training from hospitals

The project aligns with the Road Safety Master Plan spanning 2022 to 2027. The initiative also involves training and support from the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office, Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital, and Thung Yai Hospital.

The workshops target district secretaries, police, public health officers, hospitals, and local administrative organisations, with 40 participants from 32 agencies, said Charan.

“The goal is to develop more mentors at the district and local government levels, enabling them to drive road safety management mechanisms effectively across all administrative levels.

“The initiative also aims to establish village/community constitutions on road safety management, reducing the number of high-risk districts and ultimately decreasing motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities in Phuket Province.”

This proactive approach by Phuket officials underscores the urgent need to address road safety comprehensively, aiming for substantial improvements in the well-being and safety of its residents, reported the Phuket News.

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Ryan Turner

Ryan is a journalism student from Mahidol University with a passion for history, writing and delivering news content with a rich storytelling narrative.

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