“Today traffic accidents are responsible for the most deaths and injuries in Thailand, and Phuket has the highest record of traffic accident reports in Thailand,” said Dr Wiwat Seetamanotch, Vice President of the Phuket office of the “Road Safety Thai”. (See website here).
“According to statistics, the number of people in Phuket injured in traffic accidents is 4,952.55 per 100,000 and the death toll in Phuket is 72.04 per 100,000,” he said.
“About 30.63 per cent of these deaths and injuries are from alcohol-related accidents.”
Dr Wiwat delivered the news an event at Provincial Hall on Thursday (August 27) attended by Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong.
The event was held to mark the non-profit Safer Roads Foundation from the UK handing over of 39 breathalysers to the Phuket Police to use for its “Guarantee Arrest if Drink and Drive” campaign.
The breath-test units, costing a total of B1,143,000, were handed over by Safer Roads President Michael C Woodford.
“The new breathalysers we are receiving today are definitely a life saver,” Gov Nisit said. “Our police officers now have enough to use to prevent drunk people from driving and help police reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents on Phuket roads.
“Provincial police will push this campaign by stopping and checking all drivers to enforce the law on those who drink and drive in order to promote safer roads,” he added.
Dr Wiwat agreed: “One problem we have here in Phuket is that we do not have enough alcohol breathalysers and Mr Woodford and his foundation has generously come to the rescue and donated some.”
He added that the donation came as part of the Safer Roads Foundation campaign in 31 countries around the world to promote road safety.
“We know that Phuket is a tourist destination and officials need alcohol breathalysers in order to check drivers so they can reduce the number of traffic accidents,’ explained Mr Woodford.
“Our foundation hopes that everyone will respect the road law and be responsible drivers.”
Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Lt Col Theerapol Tipcharoen, however, downplayed the ‘zero tolerance’ push to eliminate drunk driving from Phuket’s roads.
“This campaign is not new, but maybe it has not been enforced as much as we should,” he told The Phuket News today (August 29).
“But from October, when we launch this campaign, we will ramp up our efforts to stop and check drivers – and if they are found over the limit, they will be arrested and charged.”
The legal limit for drunk driving in Thailand is 0.05 BAC, Col Theerpol confirmed.