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A truck rolls back to crash on Patong Hill, one of Phuket's six 'black spots'

Phuket's Six Most Dangerous Black Spots: How to End the Road Toll Horror

Saturday, August 29, 2015
PHUKET: The six most dangerous stretches of road on Phuket have been named as authorities finally recognise that the number of deaths and injuries on the island is too great and must be reduced.

The six places nominated in the Phuketwan horror list record at least two crashes a month, according to Road Department officials.

They are:

1. the road over Patong Hill
2. the Patong to Kamala coast road
3. Kata Hill from Chalong Circle
4. the Ko Ean Curve in Thapkasattri Road
5. The coast road between Karon and Patong
6. The sharp curve in the Thepkasattri Road-airport route

Phuket has become one of the most dangerous provinces in Thailand because of the failure of authorities to pursue year-long road safety campaigns.

In April 2012, the Phuket Public Health department ceased releasing monthly updates on the number of road deaths and injuries on the holiday island.

An innovative campaign to put motorcycle helmets on the heads of all Phuket schoolchildren was allowed to lapse.

A new campaign is about to start against drink-driving - which is certainly the cause of many of the deaths among expats and tourists who hire motorcycles but are never told in bars that they've had too much to drink to be allowed on a motorcycle.

What's required is an awareness campaign in schools and among learner drivers and riders to make the dangers more plain and to teach people how to drive defensively.

The improvement to Phuket's roads has allowed driver to go faster in the dangerous sections, as well as in the safer sections.

Phuketwan has yet to be able to confirm that a figure of 280 deaths on Phuket's roads for 2014 is accurate.

Such a shocking figure would certainly account for Phuket being rated among the least safe provinces in Thailand but it would appear to be unusually high, even by Phuket standards.

The number of deaths is accompanied by unacceptable levels of injuries, many of them permanent, that have a knock-on emotional and economical effect, as well as tying up precious health and hospital resources.

Death toll figures Phuketwas has for recent years on Phuket are as follows:

2007: 201
2008: 136
2009: 153
2010: 137
2011: 119
2012: 111
2013: 124
2014: 280 (unconfirmed)
2015: 103 (first six months)

Education and enforcement are plainly the answers that Phuket needs to reduce its road deaths and injuries.

Phuketwan has also suggested banning the most dangerous vehicles. The island would be better off being a minivan only province - except for inter-provincial bus services.

All buses should be banned and the use of trucks should also be further restricted to non peak periods.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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"Phuket has become one of the most dangerous provinces in Thailand because of the failure of authorities to pursue year-long road safety campaigns."

Incorrect it is due to the fact there is no public transportation. 24 hour buses put less people on motorbikes and cars. Duh!

Posted by jay on August 30, 2015 02:44

Editor Comment:

Good luck with putting people on public transport when they have motorcycles and cars, jay. Public transport will not improve driving and riding habits, that will only come with education and enforcement. You will be the only one riding the tram.

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I suggested some years back adopting some of the international habits including putting up 'black spot' road signs as they used to have in the UK (may still have but I've not been there for a long time).

Posted by Logic on August 30, 2015 07:47

Editor Comment:

Sure but education and enforcement will achieve more.

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Firstly the high rate of accidents and deaths has many variables and cannot labelled to just one thing. These variables include lack of motoring education, poor law enforcement, driver error. speeding and lack of a public transport plan.

For the number of deaths to go down Phuket authorities need to get real and face the bitter reality.- that the roads of Phuket are not safe.

Education should be starting with the youth of today. All schools should offer driver ed classes and enforce a 100% helmet rule for their schools including their teachers.

A television campaign like that in Europe is proven to work with graphic pictures and video of the aftermath of accidents.

More roving checkpoints and possibly a few speed guns and start pulling people over for speeding. Huge fines for offenders. Maybe even a penalty point license system.

These are just suggestions with the aim to save peoples lives.

Posted by Ciaran on August 30, 2015 08:36

Editor Comment:

Tinkering at the edges with signs and breath testing etc solves nothing. The roads of Phuket are not unsafe. Some drivers are. Let's get the focus right, please. There are two cures: education and enforcement. The rest is tinkering.

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As I understand it, is education to teach someone something he previously did not know.

But they know what they are doing. Especially on weekends, when is no school, look at youth, the target group.
Little Somchai with his 2 or 3 buddies on joyride with daddies scooter, without helmets of course.

At night, speeding the small village roads up and down. Driving without light as a test of courage.

Education? Too late, they know already they are wrong.

The other day I saw a young woman with two (!) toddlers in their arm steering with one hand. What she let off first in an emergency, the children or the bike?

Then I asked her if she not love her children, yes she loves her children.

Asked if she knows how dangerous her acting is, she says yes she knows it.

Priceless.

I would imagine that a large-scale PR campaign could help. Fotos with dramatic images and little films, the police can expose crash cars in front of schools explain what exactly happened in an accident, show the desastrous effects.
They could use the social medias too for pr.

Also for Buddhists, it is not very nice to be dead.

I think about something like the campaign with the dramatic images on cigarette packs, which is something that just simple people understand.

But the most effective of course are fines, seizure of the vehicles and driver's licenses.

But for this you need an effective police force that solves problems, but not being part of it.

But how can you improve the policing?

Education?

Posted by Georg The Viking on August 30, 2015 10:18

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That's all it takes, education and enforcement. Problem is that no one seems to care...

Posted by sateeb on August 30, 2015 10:31

Editor Comment:

No extra money in saving lives?

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Kata Hill from Chalong Circle? May be you mean Viset Road from Chalong to Rawai.. Never see an accident on the first, daily in the second...

Posted by dave on August 30, 2015 11:50

Editor Comment:

Go from Chalong Circle towards the Big Buddha and you'll encounter a hill, dave.

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I don't disagree that education & enforcement is all important.

So what message do we see with our own eyes when policemen stand outside schools waving bikes with under age kids (3 & 4 to a bike), with no helmets, probably no licenses & hence no insurance, into the heavy traffic of Phuket?

Posted by Logic on August 30, 2015 12:36

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If only it was so simple. There are many issues that face Phuket and they are the same as the rest of Thailand. Poor driving standards. No proper incentives to improve standards. Beliefs that spirits will protect and Reincarnation offers a second chance anyway. Tourists allowed to hire bikes without proper checks on abilities or suitable equipment. There are other issues as well. I am a British Motorcycle Instructor looking to set up a defensive riding school in Thailand. But it is far from easy for me to get passed the rules and red tape in order to do so.

Posted by Carol Jadzia on August 30, 2015 12:58

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It's an uphill battle in a sea of abject apathy Carol. I published 2 books about Tourist safety, as you know,and I shouldn't have bothered for certain.In the main:

People learn the hard way, period.

People are not proactive, period.

People are reactive creatures, and Thais are near the top of the heap in this regard. Everything is of the moment, unfortunately.

But being entitled to your roadway entitlements has proven an ongoing disaster in the LOS.

My 2 year old Thai nephew screams if he doesn't get to turn on the motorcycle again and again. Soon he'll be driving it.

Best

Posted by farang888 on August 31, 2015 05:07

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Kata Hill - Go towards Kata from Chalong circle and you will encounter a hill. You do not go towards Big Buddha to go to Kata.

Editor - Stop giving the wrong information the roads are already dangerous. Education/enforcement! Yak yak yak...Try a little education yourself Editor, your part of the problem!...GET A MAP!

Posted by Fowler1979 on August 31, 2015 08:42

Editor Comment:

You will see the Big Buddha as you head towards Kata hill, Fowler1979. Unless it is hidden by clouds.

Perhaps you've never looked up.

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@ Vietnam they make it easy ..
If u don't have helmet they take the BIKE.
So everybody have helmet also the people on the rear !

God luck Thailand

Posted by Xettan on August 31, 2015 09:23

Editor Comment:

As Robin Williams would say given half a chance: ''Good warning, Vietnaaam!''

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As I see it, there are several things that can be done.

Motorbike hire: Should be illegal to hire out Motorbikes unless you hold a drivers licence FOR motorbike! Foreign or not. They look like a nice and friendly moped, but they are not.

Road conditions: I don't know where to begin, but one example is between Karon circle and Patong. Down the steep hill towards Karon in a left curve they have done some very poor repair. Its so bumpy that unless you slow down to 20-30 km/h i think you will get off the bike. I have seen several accidents on that spot, but nothing have been done for the 2 years i have been visiting Phuket.

Speeding: How often do you see (usually a young Thai man) on a modified bike, blasting his way through in and out of traffic with speeds way over 100 Km/h? And they even do so overtaking the Police that manner, and nothing happens.

Drunk-driving: I think all of us have been there. Attending a bar late evening with a couple of friends, having a beer or two and then it escalates a bit. I have never had any accidents, but today i give the girls 100-200 baht to take me and my motorbike home. Police should start take this seriously and set up check points..

That is my opinion on the subject..

Posted by Michael on August 31, 2015 10:42

Editor Comment:

Thanks for those suggestions, Michael.


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