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Accidents put Phuket traffic lights in spotlight

PHUKET: Phuket Highways Office Chief Somwang Lohanut has ordered officials to install warning signs for the traffic lights at the “Kuan Dindaeng Intersection” on Thepkrasattri Rd in Rassada

By Chutharat Plerin

Saturday 24 February 2018, 09:56AM

The traffic lights will be switched off if they continue to cause accidents, promised the Phuket Highways Office Chief. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The traffic lights will be switched off if they continue to cause accidents, promised the Phuket Highways Office Chief. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

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.

QSI International School Phuket

“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.



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Kurt | 24 February 2018 - 14:14:46

Just another case of thai officials half the time not know what they are doing.

And switching off traffic lights because people not want to respect traffic laws?  
Choose to ignore them?  Hellooo!
What kind of kindergarten thinking law enforcement is this?
Are this thai adults who come up with stupid 'solutions'?
Why were traffic lights installed? Well?

CaptainJack | 24 February 2018 - 11:58:55

PLEASE stop saying "accidents" these are 'collisons' and, as always, are caused not by new traffic lights, wet roads, mechanical failure or surprise power poles but rather by negligence on the part of drivers.

malczx7r | 24 February 2018 - 11:54:23

"turn the lights off if they cause accidents"  He just admitted they had to put them on because of problems where the locals ignore rules ghost riding! Lights don't cause accidents, lack of looking at them because they are on the phone and lack of police enforcement causes accidents.  I was at the junction at central and one guy was watching a movie on his phone stuck on the windscre...

Discover Thainess | 24 February 2018 - 11:31:49

How on earth do traffic lights stop ghost riders? If someone is stupid enough to ride the wrong way up a busy dual carriageway then I can’t see some extra lights making any difference at all. Who makes up this nonsense??

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