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The main street of Khao Lak at night: difficult to cross safely

Finnish Tourist Killed by Motorcycle While Crossing Khao Lak's Main Street

Thursday, November 27, 2014
PHUKET: A Finnish man was killed by a motorcycle last night while crossing the main road through Khao Lak, the holiday spot north of Phuket.

The fatal crash came about 7.30pm as the tourist headed out to eat from the Khao Lak Laguna Resort, where he and his wife were staying.

''We believe the man died instantly,'' police in Khao Lak told this evening. ''His body was carried along the road after the motorcycle made impact.''

Further details have yet to be revealed.

Khao Lak has grown and spread since being devastated by the 2004 tsunami, with a six-lane thoroughfare through the centre of town unsafe at times, especially in bad weather.

Comments

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Thanks for getting on the story so fast. This stretch of road has become very dangerous of late with cars, minivans, motorbikes etc driving at exceptionally fast speeds. Traffic calming is really needed along here to protect tourists and locals alike.

RIP to the gentleman who passed away last night - our thoughts are with you and your family.

Posted by Ciaran on November 27, 2014 19:29

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We passed this tragic accident just after it happened but didn't realise its full impact until we returned and a friend who had assisted at the scene and witnessed it posted information on Facebook. This is not the first fatality on Khao Lak's dangerous Highway 4 which runs through the whole resort area. Over the past two years it has been made 4 lanes (not 6 ) even half way across the mountain that just starts after the scene of this accident. It is inconceivable that any sensible traffic management system would have a 4 lane highway with no traffic calming measures running through an essentially pedestrian area. How many more fatalities and suffering to victims and their families will it take for the Phang Nga authorities to address the results of their irresponsible "improvements" which completely ignore pedestrian and other road users safety?

Posted by Alan on November 27, 2014 20:48

Editor Comment:

I count three lanes on either side of the road and that makes six. Take a look at the photograph. One, two, three. Both sides, that's six lanes. It's a very long way for pedestrians to go, especially if they are just off a plane and don't know that anyone in a car or on a motorcycle stops or slows for nothing and no-one. Ten years ago, it was a rough single lane each way. But safe to cross.

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May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by Anonymous on November 27, 2014 23:56

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I don't need to look at photographs I live in Khao Lak for 5 months every year and have witnessed with dismay and disbelief the highway from two lanes with a cycleway each side to 4 lanes with a cycleway each side. If that constitutes 6 lanes so be it, but the fact of that matter is thatwe appear to agree that it is the 4 lane vehicular highway that presents the greatest danger to pedestrians as the cycle lane is rarely used by cyclists and instead is used for parking of cycles in the urban areas with cyclists who dare to use it having to swerve and causing the fast traffic behind them often crossing into the path of oncoming traffic. It doesn't matter whether you are new off the plane or cross the highway daily as we do, you take your life into your own hands every time. Whether unsuspecting tourist or locals, blame the idiots who allowed this road widening to go ahead and the speed crazed motorists/motor cyclists/bus drivers/taxi drivers who are primarily responsible.

Posted by Alan on November 27, 2014 23:58

Editor Comment:

It's certainly a puzzle as to what the purpose was in the massive widening of the road through the township centre after the tsunami. I noted a set or two of traffic lights but of course, pedestrians are reluctant to walk far in the wrong direction to cross the road. Pedestrians are actually superbly protected by concrete barriers along the pathways out of town.

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Well , if you count the 'parking lane' , you are correct. The skinny bit at left is a scooter lane. (moderated)

Posted by Chob on November 28, 2014 01:43

Editor Comment:

Angle-parking is clearly visible in the photograph. The three lanes each way are used by vehicles of all sizes. The six-lane road certainly narrows to four and then to two. But at its widest, there are six clear lanes, plus angle-parking.

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I visited Khao Lak 2 years ago. I was shocked how poorly the center is designed and the main road goes thru the city where are sll the shops and restaurants. Really spoils the whole resort snd is very dangerous. I will never go there again as there is now nice calm city streets to walk.

Posted by Kai on November 28, 2014 03:59

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As you come over the from taplamoo - one lane of traffic turns into 3. From other side 3 lanes turn into 2 going to Phuket.

The widening of the road has no purpose. We dont even have 3 lanes in Phuket but no one thought this out.

When you come over the hill entering Khao Lak a traffic calming system should have been put in place. Instead they created a race car circuit.

More people will be killed unless something is done. And we will of course do our best to persuade local Government to rethink this terrible idea.

Posted by Ciaran on November 28, 2014 09:58

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The 0.5 km section of Route 4 (Phetkasam Road), north from the KhaoLak Laguna is an extremely wide, fast and dangerous section of road to cross.
There is no central reservation here, and no proper warning signs or flashing lights to slow down.
I think technically outside Laguna it is 3 lanes wide north and 2 south, but in any case they are so wide it may as well total 7.

It is just on the edge of the more built up central area, as per photo, of Bang Niang / Ban La On.
This central area is a bit safer with usually (slightly) slower traffic.
It is 4 lanes plus 2 for parking (sometimes at 90 degrees).
It is not perfect but does have a kind of central reservation area in places and also a couple of low rise speed bumps.

People obviously need to cross the road not just for shopping etc but also for popular restaurants especially in the evening.

Route 4 is one of the four main historical highway routes in the country. It is also the longest (from Bangkok to Malaysia) and passes through countless towns, villages, communities and close to local village schools.

The small section close to Laguna is particularly dangerous and in urgent need of some safety features and slower traffic. It will be extremely difficult to build some kind of bypass road due to the geography of the nearby headland and
National Park, so the local Authorities really must improve the safety and reduce the speed.
Its very sad and tragic.

Posted by wyn on November 28, 2014 10:39

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for some reason the 2 lanes goes out into 4 lanes outside laguna, there is a full parking lane there.the bike was traveling at high speed, in rain conditions.we have asked the or bor tor, to put street lighting up, and speed bumps. nothing. i saw the accident, i have it on video, and it could have been avoided, it was a horrible scene,and sadly, i will see it again.

Posted by andy on November 29, 2014 08:00

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Andy or anyone else with any information about the accident, could you please contact jokke.saine(at)gmail.com? Relatives here in Finland would appreciate it, as we try to understand what happened.

Posted by Jokke on November 30, 2014 06:04


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