Transport Deputy Minister Pichit Akrathit arrived at Phuket International Airport at 3pm on Friday (April 14) to inspect improvements to services there.
Accompanied by Airport Director Monrudee Gettuphan, Mr Pichit specifically inspected the new “In-line” baggage security screening system that was brought online on April 1 to alleviate long queues of tourists waiting to enter the International Terminal (see story here) to ensure the system was coping with the surge in passenger traffic through the airport during the Songkran holidays (see story here.)
That inspection was followed by another by national Department of Land Transport (DLT) Director-General Sanith Phromwong, who visited Phuket Bus Terminal in person yesterday (April 16) to review Songkran safety measures in effect there.
Accompanied by Phuket Land Transportation Office (PLTO) Chief Banyat Kantha, Mr Sanith toured the bus terminal and handed out souvenirs to travellers and gave food and drink to officers for working during the Songkran holidays.
“The Department of Land Transport is strict on law enforcement for bus safety during the Songkran holidays, especially on driver alcohol tests – and there are to be no bus accidents and no claims from passengers that there are not enough buses, especially over April 16-17,” Mr Sanith said.
“Buses must be ready to travel on time and the drivers must test zero for alcohol. Any drivers fail the zero alcohol test, they must be face the highest legal action,” he vowed.
However, no bus drivers were found to have alcohol in the systems yesterday.
“Buses must be checked before they depart and while en route to their destination so passengers will be more confident about their safety,” Mr Sanith said.
“Passengers should download the Department of Land Transport mobile phone app to use while they are travelling on the bus,” he added.
The “DLT GPS” app developed by the Department of Land Transport and the Road Safe Fund allows passengers – and anyone else – to enter the bus or van’s licence plate number in the app and check where the vehicle is and how fast it is going.
“People can file a complaint directly through the app which will send the complaint immediately and directly to our control centre,” Sommai Sudkaow, who was PLTO Chief in January, explained to The Phuket News earlier this year. (See story here.)
“Complaints can include speeding, not travelling along the correct route, dangerous driving, overloading and overcharging. For example, if people complain the driver is driving too fast – we can then inform the driver to slow down – or take more serious action,” Mr Sommai said.
“People can use the app to also inform us of any problems with the van, such as a flat tyre or they’re stuck in a traffic jam. They can even use it to find the nearest DLT office. If need be, we can contact emergency services to provide assistance.”
As part of his visit, Mr Sanith also inspected several road-safety checkpoints in Phuket Town.