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Patong bike rental shop fined B2k after death of British 17-year-old

Patong bike rental shop fined B2k after death of British 17-year-old

PHUKET: The rental operator in Patong that rented out the motorbike that 17-year-old British tourist Anthony Ryan was riding when he crashed and died late last month was fined only B2,000, Kamala Police have confirmed.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 10 February 2019, 11:00AM

Rescue workers at the scene of the accident in Kamala that killed 17-year-old British tourist Anthony Ryan late last month. Photo: Kamala Rescue

Rescue workers at the scene of the accident in Kamala that killed 17-year-old British tourist Anthony Ryan late last month. Photo: Kamala Rescue

Young Mr Ryan was on holiday with a friend when he lost control of his motorbike and drove into the oncoming lane and straight into a minivan on the coastal road between Kamala and Patong on Jan 24. (See story here.)

Lt Col Yossaphat Suwannasit of the Kamala Police who has been leading the case told The Phuket News, “The rental shop owner was fined B2,000 last week. Vehicle rental companies that rent vehicles to people who do not hold a valid driving licence must be fined B2,000.”

However, Col Yossaphat also added, “The operator explained that they had rented the motorbikes to a second man who was older and presented a valid driving license to rent the two bikes for himself and for 17-year-old Ryan.”

Considering the rental shop’s explanation, it was not explained exactly what the shop was fined for.

When asked for information about the shop and whether it is still open, Col Yossaphat said, “It is not closed. It is only a small shop in Patong. I can’t remember the shop’s name.”

The issue of vehicle rental operators hiring out motorbikes to tourists who do not possess a valid motorcycle driving licence even in their home countries was addressed several times by high-ranking officials and even a Tourist Police Major General last year, to no avail.

In February, April and November campaigns were launched specifically targetting motorbike rental operators that were renting out motorbikes to tourists without a valid driving licence.

Operators are to be fined B2,000 for the offence, while repeat-offenders would have their permit revoked through the Department of Business Development. (See story here)

Capt Eakkachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police told The Phuket News that a meeting was held on Wednesday (Feb 6) to address key issues concerning Mr Ryan’s case.

Also in attendance were Phuket Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai and Phuket Land Transport Office officials.

“First, the shop rented out the motorbikes after having only seen a driving licence and no passport. Both documents should be a requirement for renting a vehicle,” Capt Eakkachai insisted.

“Second, the shop raised the issue of claiming for damages to the motorbike – a grey area that allows tourists to escape liability.”

Vice Governor Supoj said at the meeting that in order to reduce accidents, vehicle rental operators must ensure that tourists understand the traffic laws and know the importance of following them.

The issue around the requirement of rental operators having specific rental insurance on their vehicles was not addressed.

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Jor12 | 14 February 2019 - 10:10:56

Ahh...excellent news .... If I have a driver's license, or hire a motorcycle legitimately, I won't be killed riding a motorcycle if I have an accident. Tell that to the families of those who have been killed with having a driving license and ask for them to be resurrected.

Kurt | 14 February 2019 - 01:59:33

Sorry ..., don't play with words. The boy lost his life  because he didn't have a driving license, was provided a motorbike with fraud, no riding experience. And he lost his life due to that. Stick to facts. A young life has gone,. Nothing to do with 'if' and or 'but'.

Kurt | 13 February 2019 - 16:40:17

So ..., problem is not foreign people who probably live here more than a decade. The problem is thais refuse the 'clue'.  And what is the 'thai clue'? Not respect, not obey, and no enforcement by RTP the many thai  laws. As we see daily with minivans, tuk tuks, taxis, speed boats, and behavior in road driving ( ignoring speed advice and red traffic lights), and beach affairs.

Pascale | 13 February 2019 - 16:37:49

"And a young boy lost his life because of it" Wrong! He died because he lost control of the bike he was riding. No"if" or "but"!

Kurt | 12 February 2019 - 20:10:47

...please, stop talking right what was obviously wrong doing. 1 man with 1 license rents 2 bikes. For who was the 2nd bike? For the 17 year old boy who had no driving license and next did die on a Phuket road. The rental shop knew it was smelly, the renter knew it was wrong/fraud. And the follow up was a deadly disaster. Nothing was right, and a young boy lost his life because of it.

DeKaaskopp | 12 February 2019 - 19:52:21

....,the problem is if people move here without having any clues about Thailand.After a while they learn,and because they don't like it they start whinging.After finding out that life here is not the same as back home in their nanny state,they would like to see a change.Probably that takes forever.Considering to move back to the aegis of ones caring home country is an option.

Timothy | 12 February 2019 - 11:30:18

....you keep harping about nanny state, nanny state!  So look at the outcome of this crazy free-for all, no rules, do anything you want lawless society. The world's most dangerous roads. (If they actually counted all those that died as a result of an accident). Follow basic rules? Nah. We want chaos! We don't need no stinking rules....What a...

DeKaaskopp | 11 February 2019 - 15:10:53

Timi,of course that 17 year old kid is to blame for his own actions.He was old enough.And his friend who rented it for him was wrong too.The shop owner gave those two bikes to someone with a valid license.So what.Everyone who rents a bike here without experience and/or a license is responsible for him/herself.This is not a nanny state.

Kurt | 11 February 2019 - 11:24:13

Many road side tour desks rent out motorbikes without having a rental shop permit. So, no permit to be revoked. Small brown envelopes do miracles. After all, there are many laws and rules, many departments too. There is always a money way to avoid 'complicated situations'. Everybody happy, without loosing face.

Timothy | 11 February 2019 - 09:01:10

W, what a perfect name you have picked for yourself..."nobody can stop them so why blame others?" So instead of blaming the police for not enforcing the law, or blaming the 'rental agency' for renting a bike to an unlicensed rider. You blame the poor dead kid! Another brilliant comment...Well done...

Andy | 11 February 2019 - 08:54:48

At 17 he is old enough to make his own choices. Motorbikes are dangerous.  He will have had no insurance so was taking a huge risk with his parents money. He then 'lost control'. Sorry, no sympathy from me.

Wiesel | 10 February 2019 - 21:44:03

17 year old teenager die on a rented bike and its a big blabla about license. 30 year old idiots with license rent bigbikes and do races with fullspeed. Let them kill themselfe and hope they dont kill others. nobody can stop them so why you try to blame others??

Paddy | 10 February 2019 - 21:36:28

What's the point in having laws, if people don't abide by them. And cops don't enforce them , this place is a joke. Money matters not life.

vegasbaby | 10 February 2019 - 20:56:00

Anyone with a motorbike or a car can be a rental "shop" by parking on the beach road in Patong and having a bad copy of a blank rental agreement.  Its an unregulated free for all, buyer beware, wild west opportunity for anyone that needs to make a baht.  Between killing tourists with unsafe watercraft and turning them loose on dangerous roads, Phuket is destination of choice for suicidal...

Galong | 10 February 2019 - 15:51:56

Just be completely honest and say the cops don't really care and the rental shop doesn't either. Stuff like this is never taken seriously unless it makes international news and Thailand loses face. That's all that really matters.

CaptainJack69 | 10 February 2019 - 13:29:47

Yet more utterly unregulated tourism. Shops with no permits taking money to let tourists with no licenses ride around on motorbikes with no insurance and apparently facing absolutely no repercussions. TIT

Gat Huckle | 10 February 2019 - 13:23:54

 Yeah, 2000 baht should put a stop to the illegal rentals, and it's likely that close to 99% of the bike rentals are illegal. As I walk around town I often get asked if I want to rent a bike. For fun I say I don't have a license to ride one. Of course the answer to that is invariably, "no problem". The situation is a joke, like all things that require Thais to follow rules. Not t...

simon01 | 10 February 2019 - 12:03:08

I like this bit "in order to reduce accidents, vehicle rental operators must ensure that tourists understand the traffic laws and know the importance of following them."  Surley that applies to the local drivers too who seem to not follow them either. At least the tourists follow the rules of the road from their countries which are pretty standard when locals dont seem to follow the laws...

Kurt | 10 February 2019 - 11:34:24

RTP corruption optima forma. Accept explanation rental shop ( 'Older' man rented 2 motorbikes, 1 for himself and one for ???). A RTP Colonel not remember shop name ( is that not in police report?).  RTP is very good in avoiding addressing matters that disturbs them in their 'doings' , instead of serving the public in being transparent about their simple works. Just protecting their...

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