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Bonfire of the villagers: Phuket's fiery road toll protest tonight

Phuket Road Blocked as Residents Protest Over 'Deaths in the Dark'

Thursday, July 14, 2011
PHUKET: About 300 residents turned out in east Phuket tonight to burn car tyres and partially block a major Phuket road where they say darkness has caused three deaths.

The residents, mostly villagers from Moo One, want street lights restored along Phuket's main artery that runs east from the Heroine's Monument.

They say the absence of lighting since the road was widened three months ago has led to three needless road deaths, and that pedestrians cannot be seen by motorists who are travelling faster now the road is better.

Long tailbacks marked the site of the protest tonight, but residents said that passersby travelling both ways mostly understood the issue and were not complaining.

''We did not hold the protest during the day because there are lots of tourists using the road in daylight to visit the waterfall, golf courses, marinas and other attractions on this side of Phuket,'' a spokesperson said.

''So we did not start our protest until 7pm.'' Protesters eventually allowed normal traffic to resume just before 11pm.

Residents say they had proper street lighting when the road was narrow, but somehow the need for lighting had been overlooked when the road was widened.

Efforts were being made tonight to find out who was responsible for lighting the road.
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Comments

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Good to see locals finally taking an interest in road safety. I hope it starts a trend.

Posted by Joe on July 15, 2011 09:07

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I hope against hope that the government or responsible bodies have taken note and are doing something. They are protesting for safety, please oblige.

Posted by May on July 15, 2011 14:57

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Good to see the locals causing a stir. The pitch black stretch of road from the TESCO junction leading to the first light on the way into Samkong has always baffled me. As if the turn into TESCO there isn't bad enough, there's hardly any lighting.

Posted by Nathan on July 16, 2011 13:31

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Good show locals. I remember when Chaofa Road west (and east) was widened into a dual carriage way, still no provision for lighting to reflect the change in driving behavior many years on. Some stretches still rely on shop houses for lighting. Even i've asked when when, when, and they say next budget next budget next budget. If these main arteries received the same lighting as the airport road, i can guarantee it would save lives. Life is so cheap, it seems shrubs and flowers are a higher priority. Go locals, and save me a tyre!

Posted by Andy on July 17, 2011 08:42


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