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In wake of tour bus crash, Phuket Governor orders safety overhaul on Patong Hill

PHUKET: The Phuket Governor today ordered a raft of safety measures to prevent further devastating accidents on Patong Hill following the tour bus crash last night that wiped out one minivan and a slew of other vehicles, including a tuk-tuk carrying tourists.

tourismtransportpatongaccidents
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 7 August 2017, 08:00PM


So far the accident, which involved six vehicles, including a tour bus carrying 24 passengers, has not resulted in any fatalities, but has left dozens injured with two people still in hospital in serious condition. (See story here.)

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong and Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) Chief Banyat Kantha inspected the scene of the accident on the notorious hill today (Aug 7).

PLTO Chief Banyat revealed that the GPS installed in the bus confirmed the vehicle was travelling at 56km/h as it rapidly descended the hill.

“The tourists on the bus reported that when they were at the top of the hill, the bus was travelling at high speed. The passengers were frightened. It was negligence of the driver that caused the accident, and he is still in the care of the hospital because of severe injuries,” he said.

In response, Mr Banyat said that buses traveling from other provinces will undergo inspections, including safety checks of the brakes, at the Phuket Checkpoint as they arrive on the island at Tha Chatchai.

If approved by the government, there will be electronic scanning devices in the area before Patong Hill. Buses approved to enter Phuket will be allowed through the electronic scans, Mr Banyat said.

“If the bus is not approved at Tha Chat Chai, this will be recorded electronically and the bus will not be allowed to travel over Patong Hill but must change to another route,” he said.

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Buses registered in Phuket will undergo safety inspections by the PLTO every six months, he noted.

In addition, on the hill itself, authorities will create “emergency escape lanes” for drivers to use in case of brake failure, Mr Banyat added.

Exactly where the “escape lanes” will be installed so that runaway vehicles could slow down was not clarified.

Driver training will take some form, said the PLTO chief, explaining that compulsory video instruction explaining to drivers how they are to drive their vehicles safely over the dangerous hill will also be introduced.

These projects, including the emergency lanes are expected to be completed before the high season in November, said Mr Banyat.

Governor Norraphat ordered the safety measures to be given top prioity.

“These changes are being implemented as soon as possible, as we value all life, especially tourists who travel to Phuket who want to enjoy the tourism – not to throw away their lives needlessly in accidents here in Phuket,” he said.

 

 

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Rich 44 | 08 August 2017 - 23:53:20

I wouldn't trust any of the band aids. Looks as if a tunnel will be the ultimate, final, fix.
No matter how long it takes. The sooner we see light at the end of the tunnel the sooner the deaths will end. In the meantime do whatever you can. 

malczx7r | 08 August 2017 - 17:37:42

Conderned, you only have to see how long it takes to build an underpass, a tunnel would take many years and in that time more deaths.  The quick fix is to make all HGV, Buses, lorry drivers take a compulsory test to show them how to drive these type of vehicles so they then know hot to drive down a hill.

Concernd | 08 August 2017 - 10:26:58

Again and Again Accidents on the hill to Patong
For a Tunnel the best assumable long-term solution that will save lives
The assumable best secure way to Patong 
How many more ancients have to happen over the hill to Patong which most likely would not happen if there would be a tunnel?
A tunnel will help most likely to assure unfit vehicles, big busses, big truck and inexperienced steep hill dr...

Rorri_2 | 08 August 2017 - 06:26:14

You would think these "governors" would get tired of saying the same thing only to achieve nothing, except to show, to the world, how incompetent they are.

Foot | 07 August 2017 - 21:18:40

The simplest, quickest, easiest, least expensive, and most effective thing to do is place police along the downside to make sure any heavy vehicle is in 1st gear and going slowly in the left lane.  This could be in affect in1 or 2 days.
Yes, do the things the governor suggest, but, enact this simple solution right away.

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