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Dozens caught as police crack down on foreigners on motorbikes in Patong

Dozens caught as police crack down on foreigners on motorbikes in Patong

PHUKET: Within a period of just four hours last night (Feb 9), Patong Police caught 39 foreigners on motorbikes for not wearing a helmet, 44 for not having a valid driver’s licence and eight for running red lights. In enforcing the traffic laws in the tourist town, police seized 15 motorbikes because the rental operator had rented the motorbike to a person without a valid driver’s licence.

By The Phuket News

Friday 10 February 2023, 10:53AM

The crackdown, order by Patong Police Chief Col Sujin Nilbadee, was carried out throughout Patong from 7:30pm to 10:30pm.

Through a post online earlier yesterday, Patong Police noted they had received repeated complaints about foreigners on motorbikes in Patong, including rude and dangerous behaviour. The complaints specifically noted French tourists as the culprits, Patong Police said.

Many video clips of bad behaviour and dangerous driving by foreigners on motorbikes had been posted online, accompanied by comments from local residents urging police to take action, Col Sujin noted.

Some of the videos posted online plainly showed specific groups of foreigners gathering together to rev motorbike engines and zoom dangerously along the streets, he said.

The behaviour was dangerous, and through social media could easily promote a negative image of tourism to Patong, and Thailand, he said.

During the crackdown last night, seven people were charged with offences under the Traffic Act, Col Sujin confirmed.


Adcha Buachan, Chief of the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), pointed out that central to the problem was that tourists renting vehicles, notably ‘big bikes’, did not have a valid driving licence to operate such vehicles in Thailand.

Foreigners without a Thai driver’s licence must have an International Driving Permit in order to legally drive in Thailand, he said.

A driver’s licence from their home country is not enough, he said.

This responsibility fell to rental shops to make sure the tourists renting the vehicles have the correct licence, Mr Adcha said.

Those who rent a car or motorbike to a person without the correct driving licence are breaking the law and face a fine of B2,000, he said.

“The vehicle must be registered, its road tax must be up to date and the vehicle must be covered by [compulsory insurance under] the Accident Victims Protection Act,” Mr Adcha said.

“In the case of Patong with tourists driving in the manner of obstructing traffic or using the roads as a group [as in, like a motorbike gang], it is the PLTO’s responsibility to0 check that the tourists have the correct driver’s licences and that the vehicles are fully legal,” Mr Adcha explained.

“For those who operate a car rental business, in order to solve the initial problem they must confirm that the person who rents the vehicle has a licence that allows them drive in thailand.

“If the person does not, do not let him rent the vehicle, otherwise you will be breaking the law,” Mr Adcha concluded.

Before the crackdown on the streets of Patong last night, officers from the Patong Police and PLTO started visiting car and motorbike rental shops in the area to check the vehicles avilable for rent, and to whom vehicles had already been rented out to.

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kiwiian | 11 February 2023 - 22:05:03

15 = 44 Thai logic!

Timothy | 11 February 2023 - 09:23:58

I hope the police keep up the good work. On the topic of "rude and dangerous behavior", I wish they would do more to address the taxi and tuk tuk mafia. Taxis and mini vans are always driven dangerously. And try parking anywhere on the street in Patong or Phuket town and see how rude and dangerous the taxi mafia are. They will threaten you with a beating or damage to your car.  

JohnC | 11 February 2023 - 09:08:11

I will applaud the RTP for this only when they mete out similar treatment to all the locals who ignore helmet rules and have no valid licence either. Speaking of street gangs, go to Sapan Hin or Khao Rang any night and see underage wairuns (teenagers) without licences engaging in racing, drugs and violence, if you seriously want to arrest those breaking laws start there instead of foreigners.

maverick | 11 February 2023 - 08:05:02

Good to see rental shops will now be targeted also worth noting is that Smart Buses are now getting very busy so more people off the road and perhaps more services will be added - effective way of getting unlicensed tourists off dangerous bikes

Pooliekev | 10 February 2023 - 14:30:02

Whatabout, whatabout, whatabout....regardless, these people are breaking the law and have been caught. GOOD. Well done to the RTP. Good grief, I actually agree with Kurt.

JSombra | 10 February 2023 - 14:25:45

@Kurt: "Should that figure not 44 too?"

Wild guess, but probably seized only the big bikes of French Arabs/North Africans. They are the main target here as their antics caused police to publicly lose face...for 2nd time (last time was their antics which lead to the calls to "stone foreigners " during covid lock down)

Prab | 10 February 2023 - 13:54:33

how many Thais were caught without helmet? or without Thai licence? zero as we kno0w because thais never get checked...3 -4 kids driving on a bike is not considered danger? and what about all the junky thai driving iper noisy little boke? that all fine right?

Kurt | 10 February 2023 - 13:07:18

44 Not having a driving license, but only 15 bikes seized because rented out to people without valid license.. Should that figure not 44 too? Anyway, a good action of Patong RTP.. Do more crack downs, daily, and longer hours!

Capricornball | 10 February 2023 - 12:29:06

Colonel Sujin said "motorbike rental operators should inform tourists not to be a public nuisance by racing on roads". Now there's some great policing (NOT). I also read that Patong Police will increase patrols to crack down on motorbike racers. I have yet to see police patrolling anything, just stand in the street and stop foreigners. But, good to crack down on miserable French gang...


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