A 40-year-old Swedish man was killed when he was struck by a Honda sedan while trying to cross the highway, officially marked as a section of Petchkasem Rd, just after 9:30pm last night.
The deadly accident happened just before traffic lights at Bang Niang, where the traffic lights were set on flashing yellow for the night.
Last month a French tourist was killed while trying to cross the road 500 metres before the traffic lights at Khao Lak. The Frenchman was crossing the road on a painted “zebra crossing”.
The deadly accidents happened just several kilometres apart on the highway, which in recent years was expanded to two lanes each way with a divider separating traffic flow.
The expanded and repaved road stretches in total for more than 24km from Khao Lak all the way to Baan Bang Muang, south of Takuapa.
Since the road was widened drivers have maintained increased highway speed while driving through the small coastal townships, not slowing down for built-up areas where people cross the road and where U-turns are made available.
A member of a local rescue foundation which responded to both accidents told The Phuket News that even after the deadly accident last month no action has been taken to encourage drivers to reduce speed.
Speaking of the zebra crossing where the Frenchman was struck, the rescue foundation member said, “There are white lines on the road, but no signs informing drivers that a zebra crossing is ahead.”
The zebra crossing is also located just after crest in the road, making it impossible for drivers travelling northbound to see that the zebra crossing is there, he added.
“Something needs to be done to get drivers to slow down while driving through here,” he said.
“Speed cameras need to be installed or more police control points… Signs telling drivers to slow down do not work,” he added.
The man driving the car that struck and killed the Frenchman last month was reportedly charged with reckless driving causing death, which incurs a penalty of up to 10 years in jail or a fine of up to B20,000 or both.
Yet there have been no speed limit signs posted since the highway was widened, the rescue foundation member said.
Although the road is technically a highway, the speed limit through Khao Lak and Bang Niang is 70km/h by law as it is within a municipal area.
“Most vehicles drive faster than the allowed 70km/h through here,” the rescue member said.