British envoy urges more efforts on road safety in Phuket
PHUKET: The Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Thailand, Steven Chandler, and British Honorary Consul in Phuket, Martin Carpenter, visited Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, yesterday (February 13).
Tuesday 14 February 2012, 04:40PM
Mr Chandler’s main agenda was to discuss safety and security for British tourists visiting the island, and to make a plea for more public transport.
Mr Chandler said that he believed Phuket officials generally take very good care of British tourists but added that he was worried about road accidents. He asked Gov Tri to take more action on road safety.
In August last year, British Ambassador to Thailand Asif Ahmad noted that road accidents were the number two cause of deaths among Britons in Thailand, following death by natural causes.
“Many British tourists are injured in road accidents, especially those on motorbikes. Some [tourists] may be driving drunk or do not wear helmets, so it would be very good to monitor them much more carefully,” Mr Chandler said.
Governor Tri said that he would ask police to set up more checkpoints to address these problems.
“We do set up many checkpoints on various roads to monitor drinking and driving, helmet offences or transporting of drugs,” he said. “Tourists should report to police if there are any problems [arising from accidents], so that police can help to negotiate.”
Mr Martin also urged the governor to back more public transport in Phuket.
The governor responded that efforts are still being pursued to build a light rail system in Phuket that would possibly connect the airport with Patong, Kata, Karon and other popular beach areas, as well Phuket Town.
He added that a new fares system for tuk-tuks is being discussed, whereby passengers would be able to travel around Patong for B50 a person, but said that details have yet to be refined.
The Patong tunnel project is likely to be approved as well, he said, which should boost driver safety.