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Slow down! Double whammy spurs Phuket speed warning

PHUKET: The director of the Phuket Highways Department has put out a warning to drivers living or visiting the island to strictly adhere to road laws and warnings following two identical road accidents being caught on CCTV and video camera just over an hour apart.

accidents, transport,

The Phuket News

Thursday 18 August 2016, 01:02PM

A screen grab from YouTube shows the second vehicle careering towards the already badly damaged Mazda. Photo: YouTube Got5275 screen grab
A screen grab from YouTube shows the second vehicle careering towards the already badly damaged Mazda. Photo: YouTube Got5275 screen grab

Footage of the accidents, which occurred on the northbound lanes of the notorious Maphrao bends on Thepkrasattri Rd in Mai Khao on Monday (Aug 15), has gone viral after being posted on various websites including YouTube and Facebook by a Kusoldhram rescue worker based in Thalang.

The recording, which started being taken at around 2:10pm on Monday, first showed the driver of a red Mazda 2 lose control of her vehicle on the first of two Maphrao bends before crashing into an electricity pylon.

Then, just over one hour later, at 3:25pm, and while passersby and rescue workers were helping the victim of the first accident, a Honda CRV also lost control on the very same bend, slamming into the back of the already badly damaged Mazda and quickly dispersing the many people who had gathered to help the first victim.

Luckily there were no reports of injuries from either of the accidents. However, Kusoldharm rescue workers had to stay at the scene to warn oncoming motorists to slow down and proceed with caution.

After being shown footage of the accidents, Phuket Highways Office Director Patiwetwuttisak Sukkhee pointed out that the road where the accidents occurred has two bends within a short distance.

About one kilometre before the first bend is a traffic sign warning drivers to reduce speed to 60km/h. At the bend is a second sign advising drivers to reduce speed to 30km/h.

“At the Maphrao bends we have put up a lot of traffic signs to warn drivers about the road. The speed limit is set for 60km/h. New drivers must follow the traffic laws and pay attention to these traffic signs.

“Those who already know this route well often go above the limit and drive through the curves at speeds of up to 80km/h,” Mr Patiwetwuttisak said.

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“The two vehicles involved in the accidents on Aug 15 are clearly driving above 80km/h, which caused the drivers to lose control of their vehicles.

“When we looked at more footage from this area we discovered there are many accidents; 85 per cent of drivers hit these bends while travelling faster the speed limit,” he added.

He continued: “We will put up more signs and put speed reducers in place so people cannot drive so fast. This should help reduce the numbers of accidents.

“In future it is possible that we will increase the radius of the bend or make the road higher, but we have to study the environmental and community effects if we are going to change anything,” he said.

“For now, all drivers must strictly follow the laws for their own and the safety of others,” concluded Mr Patiwetwuttisak.

Mai Khao resident Sulaiman Kaewngamdee, who lives close to the area where the accidents occurred said, “Before you get to the bend the road is straight so most drivers go very fast, but when they reach the bend it is often too late to slow down.

“I’ve seen many vehicles lose control at this spot,” he said.

“Most people involved in these accidents are not from the area, they do not know this route and often care less about the traffic signs. In fact, sometimes accidents happened because vehicles try to take over each other in this very area,” he added.



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Kurt | 19 August 2016 - 15:17:06

To Editor: Thank you so much to correcting me.

As we now know , different departments, spread responsibilities,  actually about the same matter, safety for and law enforcement on Phuket roads.

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Kurt | 19 August 2016 - 11:49:26

Christy Sweet:  Individual responsibility? In Thailand?
That is same as cursing in a church. 
It never will happen.
Thai 'share', meaning, you never can point to 1 only when something is not correct.
At least they duck in after their saying: "many laws are involved'.
Denial is also very cultivated, and don't forget 'white lies'.

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Kurt | 19 August 2016 - 11:24:22

Sir Burr: A very good suggestion you made.
However that means ..HARD WORK.. Installing cams, several times a week checking the camera's, earning the fines. ( no kick backs from that).
It is to simple, it must be more complicated, involve more laws.

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Kurt | 19 August 2016 - 11:08:31

This high official of Phuket Highway dept is, as many high thai authorities on Phuket, pulling at the wrong end of the rope.
Do we ever see a Phuket highway patrol car at accidents on main roads to investigate? Never!
Do they know the reality on Phuket main roads?

His whole story is just about facilities  road user offenders, not punish them.
As long his highway patrol cars are not on the road to do the right job ( stopping traffic offenders and fine them) his Highway Dept is just a lame duck, and waisting governments money.  
The name.. Phuket Highway Dept.. should be changed to... Phuket Highway Speeding Escort Service. 

[Please note: The Highways Dept made the road; The Highway Police patrol the road, they are not the same agency -- Ed]

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Christy Sweet | 19 August 2016 - 10:38:29

The culture simply does not promote safety. If they start now, in schools, then in about 10 years new drivers might be less dangerous. Will it happen? Probably not. The will to force individual responsibility is just not there, in fact it seems to be considered the height of "rudeness."

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malczx7r | 18 August 2016 - 19:04:50

Dumb asses! Put more signs up!! They ignore the first lot, they ignore the 100% helmet law, everyone on the island knows Thai people ignore all road laws, how about the police do something, like arrest speeders, arrest people not wearing helmets, arrest people driving the wrong way down the road, are these people so out of touch????

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Rich 44 | 18 August 2016 - 17:47:14

You can't count on some folks slowing down. You can only hope. Best extend that guardrail. If the area those cars came to rest can possibly fill with water, it looks as if the cars would be submerged. A baby could drown along with parents and...

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Sir Burr | 18 August 2016 - 16:44:49

Here's a suggestion. Set up a very obvious speed-trap camera BEFORE the bends in both directions. Add in some signs saying Warning: Speed camera in use. Worth a try and certainly cheaper than trying to straighten out curves...

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simon01 | 18 August 2016 - 14:54:25

This is normal on all Phuket roads. The ocals dont drive safely. They drive too fast, dont care for anyone else on the road and are just a danger to all. Visitors and people from other nations are more careful as they are used to driving in their own country which driving laws are very strict for dangerous driving. You can see the same as this on many of Phukets roads.  This is just not news anymore as its been the same for years and nothing is ever done except fine more tourists on motorbikes for some petty thing when the real problems are ignored.

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Kurt | 18 August 2016 - 13:26:36

When start Phuket Highways Department to use her highway patrol cars to patrol the roads on Phuket, and stop speed violating drivers?
Like in other countries.

Why are the Highway Dept patrol cars only used for driving, violating the speed limits themselve, in front of car/minivans to bring 'VIPS' to a hotel for lunch or whatever?
Phuket Highways Dept has to clean up her act, and try to understand what the job is.

Not to use their horns and lights to sweep me out of the way when I drive according adviced speed limits when they ,speed violating. want to pass me.

If the Director thinks that more signs and speed reducers are the right medicine he thinks completely 'off the Phuket roads'.
Phuket drivers ignores signs, ignores speed reducers.
( speed reducers are only nice for asking a budget for it, including tea money)
Road traffic law enforcement by patrol cars, that is the solution.
I not understand why that is not happening.

Just sitting on hands in a aircon office and talk about road safety is not realistic, doesn't change anything.
The thai driver laugh and not listen to that.
Start to patrol by car, stop violating drivers, and fine them 3000 thb, or even more depend on speed violation.

Nothing wrong with the roads/bends. They are ok.
Just stronger and better road lights will do a lot as well.

And teach the thai drivers that a wet road is not the same as a dry road.
Teach them speed adjustment according the weather/road conditions.

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