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Khao Lak killer road claims another life

PHUKET: Members of the local community in Khao Lak, about an hour’s drive north of Phuket, are calling for measures to be introduced to reduce motorists’ speed along the main highway through the tourist-popular town after a second foreigner was killed trying to cross the recently expanded road last night (Sept 18).

By The Phuket News

Monday 19 September 2022, 03:34PM

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.”

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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.

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Nasa12 | 23 September 2022 - 13:04:00

I have movies of the accident, and after my calculation. Have the car speed between 160-180 km/t when the accident happens. 

Kurt | 20 September 2022 - 22:59:25

Zebra crossing just after crest in the road. Where is the mind? They still not understand that widening roads through villages, towns create/invite for continuing speeding? Forget cameras, most of the time they not work. A cultural setting. Create speed humbs that have inpact on the car while driving faster than adviced speed limit  Is not a difficult thing.. Worth a try.

skorchio | 20 September 2022 - 21:21:34

It is a road that encourages high speed, right through the middle of town. It is truly a masterpiece of highway design. I did read many years ago that there is no concept of safety auditing in the road design, and even after construction. Zero. Even if the contractor makes a deathtrap, there is no check, no followup, no comeback. And obviously zero consideration for the pedestrian

JohnC | 20 September 2022 - 10:12:23

That road has always been dangerous, sadly widening and improving it has turned it in to a race track for idiots who should not be allowed to have a licence. Speed bumps seem to be one of the only methods that will slow down traffic on that road. Obviously common sense doesn't work!

Timothy | 20 September 2022 - 08:41:07

The damage to the car is incredible. It must have been going warp speed. Thai drivers have no consideration for pedestrians. If you try to stop to let someone cross the street, you risk being hit from behind, or having the person crossing the street killed by some idiot swerving around you.   

Taswegian | 20 September 2022 - 08:35:16

WOW! Killer motor cycles and scooters, killer cars, killer electricity poles, killer barriers and now killer roads!!! What's happening in LoS?

solar_serfer | 20 September 2022 - 08:24:34

20k baht for killing a pedestrian on zebra? should be life sentence


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