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Phuket Road Toll Being Reduced, Public Transport Needed

Monday, February 13, 2012
PHUKET: Road deaths on Phuket fell considerably in 2011 amid greater awareness of safety requirements, better road signage and improved road conditions.

The toll of 119 deaths was down on the 137 recorded in 2010 which in turn was a dramatic improvement on the 153 in 2009, just-release Public Health department figures show.

Just a few years earlier, annual tolls above 200 deaths were standard. The lowering of deaths on the roads still leaves Phuket dealing with mass motorcycle mayhem - because there is no safe, low-cost alternative form of transport.

A massive total of 15,282 people required hospitalisation for road-related crashes on Phuket in 2012, most of them involving motorcyles that are the only form of transport available for many.

Eleven deaths were recorded in December. The worst month for deaths in 2011 was April, when 15 people died. Six Burmese were killed in the worst Phuket crash for the year, on a dangerous bend on the road to the Big Buddha.

Authorities reacted by immediately widening the bend to make it safer.

Several bus crashes on Phuket involving single deaths and multiple injuries indicated that more needs to be done to check the credentials of bus drivers and to ensure buses are regularly scrutinised to avoid a major tragedy in future.

The 2011-2012 high season has already been marked by a spate of deaths among tourists on motorcycles and a horrific crash a short drive north of Phuket in which four young Swedes and their Thai driver were killed instantly in a collision with a fish truck.

More and more, authorities on Phuket and in Bangkok are coming to the conclusion that Phuket must have a proper publc transport network to ease congestion on the roads, reduce pressure on Phuket's overworked public hospitals, and save lives.

Improvements in the training and number of Phuket's beach lifeguards have yet to produce a reduction in the number of drownings on and around Phuket.

The just-released Public Health figures for 2011 show 40 drownings, with five coming in December. This compares with 37 recorded in 2010 and 57 in 2009. The total includes drownings at sea and in canals and ponds as well as at beaches.

The Phuket Lifeguard Club has improved the safety at Phuket's west coast beaches but many tourists still ignore red flags at their peril and the island's schoolchildren are only just beginning to learn to swim in numbers.

Comments

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I am fairly sure these are only the figures of those that have died at the scene of the accident and not those that also die in hospital etc from the injuries caused. The actual tolll is unfortunately much higher.

Posted by Jimmy on February 13, 2012 23:03

Editor Comment:

Jimmy, the totals are compiled by Public Health based on figures supplied by Phuket's three public hospitals. They're the most reliable figures available. If you have evidence that there are unrecorded deaths, please let us know. If not, it's probably more sensible not to make claims you can't substantiate.


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