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Minivan owner, driver face punishment for ‘racetrack’ ride to Phuket

The driver of a speeding Phuket-bound minivan, together with the vehicle’s owner, will be summonsed and punished by provincial land transport officials after an online complaint by a passenger.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 3 September 2018, 09:17AM

A dashboard speedometer shows a van driving at 130 km/h during a trip from Surat Thani to Phuket on Friday (Sug 31). Photo: Pimpaka Ritraksai / Facebook

A dashboard speedometer shows a van driving at 130 km/h during a trip from Surat Thani to Phuket on Friday (Sug 31). Photo: Pimpaka Ritraksai / Facebook

Manop Sutthipong, the Surat Thani land transport office chief, said yesterday (Sept 2) that minivan owner Chanranong Boonjui and driver Watchayan Yongbangtrai will be ordered to the office.

The owner will be fined for violating public safety and failing to turn on the GPS device on the vehicle, while the driver will be suspended from the wheel for 30 days, the official said.

He did not give details of the punishment to be slapped on the owner, and did not address a further complaint that the ticket was overpriced.

The incident came to light in a post by Pimpaka Ritraksai on her Facebook account on Friday (Aug 31).

She and a companion had bought a minivan ticket from Phuket to Surat Thani for B200 each, she wrote. On her return journey on Friday, she had to pay B350 for each ticket – a 75% rise – at the terminal in Surat Thani.

Her travel companion asked the ticket seller about the different ticket price and the answer was that “it’s different”, Ms Pimpaka wrote.

During the journey back to the resort island, she continued, the driver drove dangerously fast. A picture posted on her account showed the dashboard speedometer at 130km/h.

“He overtook one vehicle after another as if we were on a racing circuit,” said Ms Pimpaka, who sat in the front compartment beside the driver. “He drove so fast I did not dare close my eyes.”

New Paths Retreat

Foreigners sitting in the rear compartment told Watchayan to slow down for the safety of the passengers. The driver reportedly became angry and told them that if he drove slowly, they wouldn’t get to Phuket till the next day. If they were scared, he said, they were free to get out of the van.

Surat Thani is about 280 kilometres from Phuket.

After the foreigners continued to complain about the minivan’s speed, Watchayan pulled over, walked around to open the passenger door and berated them.

“You see. Thai people no worry,” the driver tells them in the recorded video clip. “Are you worried? Oh, my okay?”

Ms Pimpaka wrote that the incident was quite traumatic. “I felt the pressure. I looked at the faces of the foreigners, they were scared,” she wrote.

“For me, at that point, it was like a nightmare,” she added.

She posted another message yesterday to thank officials for taking action against the driver.

Read original story here.



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Christy Sweet | 03 September 2018 - 15:05:27

And this whistle blower can now face criminal charges for defamation on her FB page. 

Kurt | 03 September 2018 - 13:44:06

Not even thai logic, yes, indeed 200 thb is different from 350 thb.. The thai tourist scam scene.
So, this is 1 owner + driver, How about the other hundreds now? Are there GPS checks by thai authorities? Why are quality tourists not compulsory safe thai quality transport service given? Well, authorities and TAT??

malczx7r | 03 September 2018 - 13:35:30

This is exactly the sort of thing that made me leave Phuket and Thailand, the authorities don't care, the people don't care, you are just a cash source and if you die, ah well, there's plenty more "farangs"!

BenPendejo | 03 September 2018 - 12:17:26

A tiger will never change his stripes...and this POS driver is not going to turn into a polite and respectable driver in 30 days.  He should be done for good...make an example out of him and make the thousands of other a-hole drivers out there aware that their reckless and rude behavior is no longer acceptable. But nothing substantial will happen, and it will be same same, as always.

CaptainJack69 | 03 September 2018 - 12:13:31

This is exactly the point, they just don't care. A 30 day ban? OMG that's so severe [sarcasm emoji].  This scum should have its license permanently revoked.

And a GPS safety device that can be turned off? I'm sorry?

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