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Some situations on Phuket's roads are tragedies waiting to happen

Phuket's Monthly Road Toll Down in January

Monday, February 21, 2011
SEVEN deaths were recorded in road crashes on Phuket in January, official statistics revealed today.

The Public Health Department released the latest information as the Nation Chanel reported the deaths of five Phuket tourists in Cha-am as their Bangkok-bound mini-van slammed into a truck yesterday.

The monthly figure for the road toll on Phuket was down from a figure of 10 in December and the lowest since five deaths were recorded in May, 2010.

Fatalities on Phuket roads have been trending downwards for two years, official figures show, despite population increases.

There were 137 deaths on Phuket's roads in 2010 - an average of 11.4 deaths a month - compared to 153 in 2009.

What continues to alarm health officials, though, is the high number of serious injuries incurred. In January, 1517 people were treated in hospitals for crash injuries.

Three people died from drowning on Phuket in January, Public Health said.

The driver of the van involved in yesterday's mass fatality, Uthen Faksaeng, 34, will be charged with causing death by negligent driving, say police.

Comments

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How sad that the driver of the minivan, entrusted to get the people their safely, killed five innocent people. My friends minivan went off the road on a visa run a few weeks ago as the driver was passing on a blind curve in the rain. All drivers should take notice and I hope the driver gets the maximum time allowed, what a disgrace. Please let us know his sentence in the future.

Posted by Jon on February 21, 2011 16:18

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I will pre-empt this by saying that in no way should the loss of life be trivialised. 1517 injuries and 137deaths is phenomenal particularly unacceptable for Phuket within a year.
The safety of vehicles and regulation of driving can be an initial influence in reducing fatalities but the attitude of Phuket drivers and the type of vehicles driven are the ultimate statement in maintaining safety and thereby reducing fatalities.
The difference between Western driving and Thai driving is that in Thailand you must give-way to everything in front of the vehicle..........completely the opposite to the driving regulations of tourists [as they have inherently learned] from visiting countries.
There is a lot of discussion about regulating everything in Phuket City , Patong and Rawai bar hours, jet skis to tuk tuks. Has anyone discussed the attraction of Thailand to the West?
It's the lack of regulation, perceived freedom and general 'laissez faire' that attracts the Western tourists to Thailand particularly Phuket!.
The lack of regulation and opportunity to enjoy yourself is an attraction.
Sort out the tuk-tuks and cabs with diplomacy. In the end, 150 Baht is pittance to tourist pockets as its the driver attitude that upsets them not the cost.
Please look at the perspective of tourists visiting Phuket as being the tropical feel good, land of smiles and finally the realization you're in paradise. It's pretty simple, seemingly over complicated in months of discussion on Phuket Wan.
No doubt the detractors will re-focus on the negatives but ultimately its 'up to you Phuket'!

Posted by Pe-Terr on February 21, 2011 20:20

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Did I read this right? 1,517 people injured in accidents on Phuket in January alone and yet in prior articles you praise the police for road safety based only on the number who DIE each month. This is just more proof that gridlock does more to save lives than anything else: However gridlock with poor driving skills and lack of Police enforcement adds to many low speed accidents. No one gets into an accident because they don't have a drivers license on them so to only fine them and let them continue driving makes no since, If you don't have a valid license on you you should not be able to drive on after just paying a fine especially if your a tourist who has never driven a motorbike in your life your just an accident waiting to happen.

Posted by mike on February 21, 2011 21:35

Editor Comment:

Mike, if you were trying to say something that made sense, you failed.

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I think that Mike wanna say that is useless only to fine who drive without driving licence, expecially the tourist that never drive motorbike or worse no have valid driving licence.
On my small motorbike I made nearly 90.000 km in 5 years in Phuket. I got 5 accident never for my fault. Every day I see someone have accident: today from Rawai to Phuket Town two and another one in Patong: all for very dangerous manouvres. Police must stop those who drive fast, expecially concrete mixer trucks, minibus and bus. All of these have Thai drivers. Cannot only fine them, it's necessary to freeze the driving license for some months. But, as everybody knows this is the people has more power in Phuket (builder, and bus tour operators). So, like all the others Phuket problems, just forget it...

Posted by Dave on February 21, 2011 22:46

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(moderated)

Posted by david on February 22, 2011 09:45

Editor Comment:

You also haven't paid your subscription. The Thai Visa forum on Phuketwan's editor is ready and waiting, david. Off you go now.

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Nah mate ..your weak as piss...another one [ of many] you have lost due to your big mouth. FOOL!!! From the Thaivisa site....Whatever we think the guys an old pro.. and the posters are taking the bait..me included,but not no more..once bitten twice shy..same here ..bye bye

And this;
fixing grammar and making comments readable is one thing. fine, go for it. but no one ever said the editor has no right to be abrasive, only that it's not a good idea for someone in his position to be so cantankerous. also, no one called it a "newspaper". exactly what does that have to do with the assertion that the editor makes some seriously flawed decisions when he insults his own readers? the PW is an online media outlet. i wonder if the editor holds on to this odd differentiation when he's accepting his professional awards?
___________________________________

the wording of PW's 'play of the day' is awfully convenient. as stated, "thai visa is running" this or that. no, one person is--an independent ex-pat interested in hearing others' opinions. thus far, it seems as if i'm definitely not the only person who thinks the editor's behavior is detrimental to his own publication.

looks like the editor is comfortable responding when he controls the buttons but when it's an open forum, he won't address the issue directly.

Posted by david on February 22, 2011 10:29

Editor Comment:

The only readers who take offence, david, are the ones who aren't prepared to have their views challenged. They're locked into a narrow, myopic world where they are always right. That's sad. All the insults are heaped on the editor, not the other way around. It's quite alarming how many people cannot debate a principle without losing the plot. I'm not some pathetic, anonymous cringer. I stand up for what I think is right. Shooting the messenger is the frequent choice of those who can't hold a debate without hurling insults. Enjoy your new opportunity to hurl a few more.


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