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Phuket police aim to star this Christmas-New Year holiday period

Phuket Police Drive Holiday Roads Safety

Sunday, December 18, 2011
PHUKET: Police on Phuket are hoping to reduce deaths on the island's roads to a record low for 2011 but they warn of New Year dangers and the shift of speedsters to secondary roads.

Latest released figures for October show that the Phuket drownings toll is almost level with the road death toll - an unprecedented occurrence.

There were six deaths on Phuket roads and five in the water, an exceptional low on the roads and a high figure in the water.

Phuket police are now preparing 10 checkpoints for the Seven Days of Danger campaign across the island from December 29 to January 4.

Phuket Police Commander Major General Pekad Tantipong would like to have more breathalyzers and radars to measure alcohol and speed, but latest figures on the roads are encouraging.

To the end of October, there have been 97 deaths on Phuket's roads in 2011 - well down on figures for the same period on 2010 (122) and 2009 (127). The improvement is attributed to the ''100 percent helmet'' safety campaign for motorcycles, better road signage and markings, and regular checkpoints.

Some of the worst Phuket crash blackspots have also been obliterated by better road design, or redesign. Problems remain where wider Phuket roads encourage speed to still-dangerous curves and bends.

Major General Pekad says crashes involving motorcycles especially are becoming more prevalent on Phuket's secondary roads, where people think they can go without wearing helmets and speed without fear of detection.

Target for the Seven Days of Danger will be to reduce the total toll from last year, when there were four deaths on Phuket in 67 crashes, with 74 people injured.

The number of people seriously injured or even maimed for life in motorcycle crashes especially on Phuket remains alarming, with 1295 the total for October.

In the August-September-October period, 25 people have died on Phuket roads while 11 have drowned at beaches or in canals - an exceptionally high ratio given the number who use the roads compared to those who enter the water.

Comments

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Does this mean that for the remaining 361 days of 2012, they won't be trying to reduced to road toll, then again, why should 2012 be any different to 2011, enforcing existing road laws especially speed limits and helmets, would go a long way to saving lives.

Posted by Laurie Howells on December 23, 2011 12:19

Editor Comment:

Checkpoints are the only option for now, Laurie, because pursuit would be tragic on Phuket's roads. Perhaps radar combined with checkpoints will happen. But as the police are the first to admit, there aren't enough of them. The toll is coming down . . . but the best answer to improved road safety and reduced injuries is efficient public transport.

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Hi ed..I think we all know, that the police are and always will be understaff, no different than many other countries, but they are charged with enforcing the law..they could at least start with warnings..taking name and licence number, along with the offence, put this into a simple spreadsheet, then if they re-offend, fine them, the police must start somewhere, there always seem to be enough police, to man patong and pull people over for no helmet, but not enough to ... well control tuk tuk...taxis..jet skis or to patrol the roads..

Posted by Laurie Howells on December 23, 2011 17:50


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