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Phuket drinkers are being warned to switch to juice if they're driving

Phuket Targets Drinkers, Venues for Safety

Thursday, January 19, 2012
PHUKET: Authorities on Phuket are launching a campaign against drink-driving after statistics reveal the connection between road deaths and injuries and excessive alcohol consumption.

A large proportion of fatalities among expats, as among Phuket locals, appears to be directly a result of people drinking too much then being allowed to take the handlebars of motorcycles.

The Phuket road safety campaign announced yesterday will begin with a public meeting of bar and venue owners to ask them to refuse service to people who have had too much to drink.

Increased police attention to venues where excessive drinking is not discouraged and to drink-drivers on the roads is anticipated as part of the 2012 campaign.

Authorities said yesterday that alcohol was the number one factor in 82 percent of road deaths in the Kathu district - which includes Patong, Karon, Kamala and Kata - 40 percent of those in Thalang district and 65 percent of those in the Phuket City Amphur district.

The statistics simply confirm what expats have long suspected - that the freewheeling approach to drinking and driving by both riders and drivers and law enforcement officials results in needless deaths and injuries.

The recent 'Seven Days of Danger' campaign produced a new statistic: Along with six deaths, there were 475 injuries, and 84 percent of the incidents were related to motorcycles.

Police statistics reveal 21 deaths on Phuket roads between October and December, with 13 people ''very seriously'' injured and 28 others injured.

Phuket administrators, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and Phuket's Deputy Police Commander joined yesterday's meeting at the Public Health offices.

Total Public Health statistics for 2011 are still being compiled but figures to the end of November show road deaths are likely to be reduced from the tolls of 2010 and 2009.

However, injuries and serious injuries continue to bring tragedy to thousands of individuals and their families, as well as placing an economic strain on Phuket's stressed health care system.

Officials acknowledge that the lack of a cheap, efficient public transport system not only causes unwanted deaths and grief because people are forced to use motorcycles, but also contributes heavily to traffic congestion in peak periods around Phuket.

Comments

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"Authorities on Phuket are launching a campaign against drink-driving after statistics reveal the connection between road deaths and injuries and excessive alcohol consumption"...the rest of the world, has know this connection for decades....how slow at thinking are these people

Posted by Laurie Howells on January 19, 2012 11:30

Editor Comment:

Their brains work at the same speed as yours, Laurie. In your case, the problem is engaging the right gear.

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Until there is an honest proper law and punishment for drink driving nothing will ever change and people will needlessly carry on being killed. One only has to look down Soi Sansabi every night at the hundreds of motorbikes parked there belonging to people drinking down Bangla road 99% of which will be over the limit when they collect their bikes in the early hours of the morning. Do you see any policemen around? i don't think so. My only surprise is there are not more casualties.

Posted by Neil A on January 19, 2012 12:01

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"Officials acknowledge that the lack of a cheap, efficient public transport system not only causes unwanted deaths and grief because people are forced to use motorcycles, but also contributes heavily to traffic congestion in peak periods around Phuket."

So what are they going to do about it?

Posted by Sandy Shores on January 19, 2012 12:18

Editor Comment:

Check the latest article, Sandy: Phuket Tuk-Tuks, Taxis Probed by Bangkok Team: Cabinet to Talk Public Transport on Phuket

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As per Chiang Mai & Pattaya, Phuket needs cheap 'songtaws' (excuse my phonetic spelling). In Chiang Mai they are color coded to indicate their area of operation. In Pattaya, they run round a one way system, with people able to get on & off at any location along that route. In both cases, the fares are a fraction of the Phuket tuk tuk high prices. I am not condoning drink driving, but some of us won't use tutk tuks, not just because of their gross over pricing, but because we are genuinely fearful of them (mugging & extortion), especially at night.

Posted by Logic on January 19, 2012 17:47

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A prohibition to rent out bikes to drivers without a permit would be a start, too.

Posted by Apostel on January 20, 2012 08:21

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Kata, Karon is Muang, not Kathu as stated.

Give us public taxis at reasonable prices with reasonable civiliced drivers, and most drunk drivers quit drunk driving.

Cracking down on drunk drivers and kids too young to ride bikes, when there are no alternatives, is not fair

Posted by katabeachbum on January 20, 2012 11:19


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