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Seriously injured tourists are rescued from a needless crash on Sunday

Tourism Horror With No Excuses

Monday, December 15, 2014
PHUKET: Phuketwan publishes these photographs from a single-vehicle crash north of Phuket that left more than 10 people injured on Sunday in the hope of encouraging better safety on the roads.

It really is time that authorities in the Andaman region became serious about road safety, both for residents and tourists.

There are far too many single-vehicle crashes - a sure sign that drivers are not capable of safeguarding the tourists in their care.

For too long, locals have had to put up with low standards of driver education and the consequences - the deaths of too many innocent victims or young people who have not been well taught in how to drive or ride with safety.

Coming up: the photograph of the injuries sustained by the Russian swimmer hit by a speedboat illegally operating at a Phuket beach.

Comments

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Will Thailand wake up?
These crashes have to be made public world wide.
Embassies need to warn their countrymen about the horrific crashes that occur in Thailand, especially here.
If other countries governments do something, maybe the peer pressure should help change something here.

Posted by Tbs on December 16, 2014 01:30

Editor Comment:

For a long time, the authorities have needed to prove themselves serious about tourism safety. ID wrist bands will not save the lives of people killed in needless minivan crashes. Letting speedboat drivers operate illegally at a beach, run over a swimmer and then do nothing is unacceptable.

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It's sickening how these people drive and the complete lack of accountability by the authorities is disgraceful.

Posted by Pwin on December 16, 2014 02:46

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Driving Standards are the same for the Whole of Thailand...

I am not being negative, just what i have seen and experienced...

Sad as it is....

Posted by robert on December 16, 2014 03:20

Editor Comment:

The standards of minivan driving is a good starting point and one that needs action for the government to prove it is serious about tourism safety.

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The only way to change attitudes is to perhaps shame Thailand by sharing these graphic pictures to the international media, in the hope that may put pressure on the country to raise driving standards.

Locally speaking, these type of images are already openly displayed in the transport office in Phuket town, but hardly seems to deter hardened drivers from changing their driving methods.

Posted by reader on December 16, 2014 03:44

Editor Comment:

Television education campaigns have worked in other countries and would work in Thailand. Meanwhile, tourist minivan and bus drivers should be singled out for special treatment. Single-vehicle crashes like this one are pure negligence.

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Ed, fully agree - these crashes are needless and a good education program (on TV every night during the soap operas) would be a great way of doing this.

Only issue seems to be a lack of interest in doing this by the authorities. Education about quality motorcycle helmets and basic maintenance (make sure your lights work) and basic safety tips (look before you pull out, don't ride the wrong way up a road etc) would work wonders

The UK had a fabulous campaign against drink driving a few years back that changed the perception to one where it became socially unacceptable to drink and drive - Thailand could do the same if there was impetus to solve the problem

Posted by Amazing Thailand on December 16, 2014 06:56

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Education through TV is worth a go. Through the NBTC the TV channels are meant to regulated to the point where content style is determined as part of an operators licence: 40% entertainment 60% education, for example. Perhaps NBTC could get serous about enforcing that and include some of the below driver education as part of the programming.

Posted by Duncan on December 16, 2014 08:00

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If Thailand wants to show education programs on tv, i hope they do it early enough, so the 9-year old girl , that drove the car to school, can watch it too.

Posted by Carl on December 16, 2014 08:38

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The never improving road traffic standards are a prime example that the country has a huge problem to adapt to the demands of the modern times.

In so many fields, including education, administration, in the not existing industrial sector, environment etc. etc.
No solutions, no visions and hopelessly back in the last century. The same mistakes, the same accidents, the same misunderstandings again and again, year by year. Not much has changed or improved for decades.

If they not adapt to the requirements of the 21. century, they will lose the connection more and more and eventually isolate themself.

Sometimes I want to shake the so lovely people here and shout a "wake up".

Very sad to see it.

Posted by Georg The Viking on December 16, 2014 09:19

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The main reason nothing will change is that all civil servants from the bottom up to the highest level of the Thai administration do not feel responsible in case of accident because because their main defense is "Accidents happens" and blablabla... the best example are all previous Phuket governors and the famous Khun Puripath....
The only to change it will be to have civilians and associations lodging official complaints to Ombusman as it is done in democratic countries; but this is another story.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on December 16, 2014 10:00

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With respect I suggest road safety education on tv is a waste of money. Respect for road rules is most effective (and cost efficient) by enforcement. TV ads might make some people feel better (and richer) but it won't change behaviour unless of course it is backed up by enforcement. Driving skills need to be taught in school otherwise children will learn to drive like lunatics the same way their parents do until the day they die.

Posted by benvenuto on December 16, 2014 10:52

Editor Comment:

The television campaigns were highly effective in Britain and Australia at curbing drink driving and speeding. Schools and enforcement are certainly vital ingredients, too. It's a complete package. That's what's needed.

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I hope that all the Embassy will warn the tourists about this crazy trafic and trafic education the driver get here in
Thailand, this is the same for all type of veichiles. If the autorities do not act and do something with this BIG problem, I think tourists say: GOOD BYE, Thailand. Thailand is nr.2 in the worlds statistic of trafic accidents.
Personally I never take a bus or minibus, I am an Expat retired but I want to live some more years. I hope top level autorities read this from this site and do something about this. Trafic Police do minimum.....

Posted by Scandinavian expat on December 16, 2014 11:36

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Again with respect ed I believe serious enforcement (booze buses, radar, active patrol cars) in Australia was the key to improvement in road safety also coupled with gruesome tv ads. The fear of getting caught, fined and/or suspended was/is very real. Education of itself is not enough. For instance ex WA road transport minister Charlton (resposible for road safety!!) and deputy premier Buswell both very well educated but guilty of serious road safety offences. Also footballers sponsored by the ONLY IDIOTS DRINK & DRIVE campaign on their jumpers found guilty of drink driving and lost their lucrative contracts. Flashing lights on police cars is 100% effective.

Posted by benvenuto on December 16, 2014 11:55

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I still FIRMLY believe, that ALL transport MUST have a Video Camera installed - if not they should not be operating.
Taxis, Minivans, Buses etc. This will protect BOTH the driver/passenger by telling the real story about what happened.

Posted by Tbs on December 16, 2014 11:56

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Where I live it is quite normal for people to speed through red lights without even slowing down. At night you must be very careful when approaching a green light as you never know who will stop or won't. As for zebra crossings, you take your life in your hands if you actually think people will ever stop.

In Nakhon they have started wheel clamping on cars illegally parked. At night it is diabolical with people speeding though town running red lights.

Posted by Arun Muruga on December 16, 2014 12:02

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'No excuses'? Oh, there'll be plenty. Non of them valid though of course.

Too many people on the roads care nothing for the safety of themselves or others sharing the same space. When the authorities allow them to get away with poor driving as well it will become a generational thing as well- the kids will just follow their parents example and think nothing of it.

its not just tourist safety we should be concerned about- its the safety of ALL on the roads.

Posted by Mister Ree on December 16, 2014 12:17

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as long as we talking about a country where NO ONE can point pingers we never gonna see a change,. not on the road. neither on the beach... its enough to argue with another motobike then u can get 9 (or was it11?) bullets in ur chest... the whole attitude is that "i know exactly what am doing" therefore not one single driver will look at TV to learn how to drive, u just kidding urselfs with that. and to ED - we are not in Australia or the UK, u cant think it will work the same way here... my suggestion? donno. make ur prayers? or give sentence that fits the crime... that could do it,,, and ofcourse.. driving schools for having a licence that actually teach u the responsibilities on the road and behind a steering wheel.....

Posted by frog on December 16, 2014 12:18

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No matter how they improve the circumstances.
TV shows or something else, if all countries of the world (except the Dom. Rep.) have better driving standards, and less fatal crashs they should easily find only ONE way how to change that.

They do not want it, and this has been for years. Just as they do not want to reform their education system. Here, too, cut off from almost every country in the world in the use of the English language.

If you know that everything happens for a reason, one might think of Cicero and ask cui bono, who benefits from it?

Someone has a very strong interest that this country remains in a state of paralysis.

Posted by Georg The Viking on December 16, 2014 12:56

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Check out the YouTube video - $4.5 million dollars spent on " special " traffic lights in Pattaya showing everyone including RTP patrol cars going through red lights !

Posted by Gb farang on December 16, 2014 19:22

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Never going to change... because Thais don't care about tourists. Thailand has no governance, and no integrity. We can complain all we want... but nothing will change. Just watch.

Posted by Ed Sanders on December 16, 2014 19:33

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They always have 2 excuses it was the rain or the brakes failed.

Posted by slickmelb on December 16, 2014 23:13

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Enforcing traffic rules is totally missing in Phuket.
Only way is to set up completely separate 'task force' to enforce road safety with very wide rights.
=Do something idiotic on road and your vehicle will be taken from you for next 3 month.
That will be only way how it would work..

Posted by J on December 17, 2014 00:37

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Accidents occured internationally and are reported in the regions where they happen. When they are horrific enough, maybe they go beyond territorial lines to make "news" elsewhere. Just viewed on T.V. where over 30,000 people lost their lives to motor vehicle accidents in year 2013 in the USA. How many became vegetables for life? How many are stricken from being income earners to burdens on the tax payers because of injuries? How many won't see this Christmas? I think we are all aware of ferryboat sinking's in the P.I., South Korea, Bangalore or even luxury cruise liners as recently as in the Med or the Titanic of the last century. The airplane that crashed in San Francisco without loosing a life and then the ejected or fleeing gals get run over by a fire truck!??? Busses going into some gorge in India or off a mountain road in Mexico, so many hurt and killed. I understand your need to editorialize and I sympathies with you, but should you not have an OP-ED section? The photos are shocking and certainly should be displayed(someplace) to help educate drivers of the potential injuries to themselves and others, including fatalities when they operate any type of mobile kinetic unit; from bicycle (The recent Bono accident of U-2 fame in a park in the USA comes to mind!)to a tractor to a boat to an airplane and the list goes on. Other countries have Driver's Education courses for youngsters before getting a Learner's Permit. Drivers of commercial vehicles need special licenses to operate taxi's or busses. They all undergo addition training and have to meet specific qualifications to transport people or cargo's. I read this publication as a source for "Breaking News" So where is the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN? I'm sorry. I was just shocked to see this when I was looking to read something. I think you can do better than this! If it is blood and gore I will go to the market where I can view hog heads or cannibalized chickens or gulping fish...

Posted by Kenny Wayne on December 22, 2014 12:56

Editor Comment:

There is seldom such a thing as an accident, Kenny, which is why we seldom use the word. An accident implies nobody is at fault and people who tend to use the word often accept that ''accidents will happen.'' As the article makes plain, it's an attempt to make people understand the consequences of poor driving. One of our main objectives is to make Phuket a safer place for visitors and residents and if we've shocked you into reacting and thinking about the consequences of crashes that aren't accidents, perhaps that's a step in the right direction.


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