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Motorcycles are a danger to more expats this Phuket high season

More Expats Die on Motorcycles on Phuket as Roads Safety Pays Dividends

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
PHUKET: An alarming number of expats are dying on motorcycles on Phuket as latest figures show signs of improvement in the island's annual road toll.

Figures to the end of November, released today by Phuket's Public Health office, show that Phuket can expect to have its toll for 2011 lowered on figures from 2010 and 2009.

Eleven deaths were recorded on Phuket in November, taking the total for the year to 108 with December to follow. The Phuket deaths total for 2010 was 137, which in turn was well down on the 153 recorded in 2009.

Statistics compiled by Public Health are considered to be more complete than those of Phuket police, which only record incidents that officers attend. The Public Health totals are compiled based on statistics from Phuket's three public hospitals.

A worrying trend is evident this high season in the ratio of deaths among expats.

Young Norwegian Maren Kindsta, 21, was killed in a motorcycle crash on December 27. Two expats were among the six deaths recorded on Phuket in the 'Seven Days of Danger' campaign between December 29 and January 4.

The following day, a 48-year-old Swedish man died on a motorcycle in a single-vehicle crash in Kamala. On Sunday Erna Dahlan, 29, and her soon-to-be-born son were crushed by a truck in Patong.

That makes five expat deaths in 13 days, an extremely high ratio when the number of expats on the roads is compared to the number of Phuket locals.

Most of the deaths are among Phuket's young, with 16-year-old Phuket Technical College student Sathaporn Kidtuk the latest victim. He died instantly under a truck after coming off his motorcycle at high speed in Phuket City this morning.

While the ''100 percent helmet campaign'' and greater safety awareness appears to have reduced death tolls, the number of injuries requiring treatment in Phuket hospitals continues to grow with the tally for November alone topping 1400.

Improvements to training and an increasing number of lifeguards on Phuket beaches have saved many lives but drownings on Phuket remain high by comparison with the road toll.

While there were 11 deaths on Phuket's roads in November, there were also five drownings - an exceptionally large number given the ratio between those who regularly use the roads and those who swim at beaches or in canals and pools.

Phuket's drowning tally to the end of November stands at 35 with one month's figures yet to be compiled, compared with 37 drownings on Phuket in 2010 and 57 recorded in 2009.

Phuketwan supports Mothers or Motorcycles (MoM) an action group that advocates compulsory helmets and increased safety awareness.

Comments

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Thanks for making this article a priority. Too many people make the huge mistake of riding unsafely. Helmets are also a must if you want to survive a crash. So sad to see the numbers but we can learn from it and protect ourselves. Thanks for the article with thorough statistics.

Posted by Carlo on January 10, 2012 19:58

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Just rent specially modified bikes to tourists that cannot exceed 30 mph. The number of deaths and injuries would plummet.

Posted by Andy on January 10, 2012 23:00

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I use my motorbike daily on Phuket's roads and have covered 20,000kms over the past two years. I see Thais die and get injured because they and other Thai motorists drive dangerously and too fast (that's obvious); tourists die and are injured because they have never ridden a motorbike before and don't know what they are doing. But what the heck, 'we're on holiday', and anyway who really cares, it's good business.

Posted by Woj on January 11, 2012 07:30

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Just last night there was a couple on the way from Patong to Karon at about 9 pm. They were riding in the middle of the lane with a speed of about 30 km/h. This is calling for an accident.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on January 11, 2012 10:22

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Three reasons of many, tourists are over represented in road toll is they come to phuket and decide this is the place to learn to ride a motorcycle first time in there lives (Licence to hire one does not seem to be a prerequisite in thailand) another issue is lot of helmets you see are a decoration only and meet no design rule whatsoever in summary if you think you have a 10 baht head then wear a 10 baht helmet actions vs consequences apply

Posted by Anonymous on January 11, 2012 12:08

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If the Police enforced the law , No Motor Cycle licence confiscate the cycle, and fine the person and the hirer. Most people do not have a motor cycle licence only a car licence.

Posted by Law on January 11, 2012 14:27

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Hi, I live in Australia and ride bikes most weekends. I was in Thailand last year and I couldn't believe how many tourists ride the bikes over there with no protection. Was really strange, over here there are more rules and less cars and most people wear proper riding gear but over in Thailand it was like these people threw their brains out the window and thought they could just hop on a bike and ride and not get hurt. For me the Tuk Tuk was the way to go.

Posted by Richo on June 22, 2012 06:11


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