The decision follows a spate of accidents at the intersection (see map below) since the lights were first switched on Wednesday this week (Feb 21). (See story here.)
“We have already been informed about the accidents caused on the first day that the traffic lights were switched on, (the accidents) might be caused by habit,” Mr Somwang told The Phuket News’ sister publication Khao Phuket.
“We have ordered officials to install traffic light warning signs at the intersection. The traffic lights have already been set up for a long time but had never been turned on,” he explained.
“The area is under the responsibility of the Phuket Highways Office, but the traffic lights were designed and installed by Rassada Municipality,” Mr Somwang said.
“We are not involved in any designing or approving any standard of these traffic lights,” he added.
Mr Somwang defended the move to switch on the traffic lights.
“Rassada Municipality had to turn on the traffic lights because many motorists did not follow traffic rules, such as ghost riders,” Mr Somwang said.
“We have to explain to Rassada Municipality that they can test the traffic lights, but if these traffic lights cause accidents they will have to turn them off immediately,” Mr Somwang noted.
Although the traffic lights have been in operation since Wednesday, an official trial period will begin on Monday (Feb 26), Mr Somwang noted.
“Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong is expected to attend the event,” he said.
However, Mr Somwang noted that Phuket Highways Office did not know exactly how long the “trial period” will last.