CLASSIFIEDS ONLY THB 2,500 + VAT FOR 3 LANGUAGES The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Patong Mayor calls to ramp up safety after deadly Phuket tour bus crash

PHUKET: The Mayor of Patong has called for the government to re-engineer the deadly road down the steep hill descending into the key resort town in the hopes of preventing further tour bus accidents claiming the lives of tourists and local residents.

tourism, transport, accidents, death, Chinese, police,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 12 July 2017, 11:25AM

The plea came at an emergency meeting of officials called by Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong yesterday in the aftermath of the tragic accident on Monday night that killed a 10-year-old Chinese tourist boy and his father. (See story here.)

It also followed another tour bus crash just two weeks ago, when a bus killed a 40-year-old woman riding a motorcycle in the small street that all runaway tour bus drivers use to avoid slamming into the giant concrete wall installed at the bottom of the hill. (See story here.)

The marathon meeting yesterday, held at Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), was conducted in two sessions, starting in the morning and reconvening in the afternoon.

Present among the officials were Phuket Highways Chief Papiwetwoottisak Sookkii and PLTO Chief Banyat Kantha, along with representatives from local tour companies.

“Every official at the meeting knows the main reason for these accidents is the driver and the mechanical condition of the bus, but most importantly is that the drivers do not know the road well and do not know how to drive the buses safely over Patong Hill,” Patong Mayor Chalermluck Kebsup told The Phuket News.

Regardless, Mayor Chalermluck believes it is more important to make the road itself safer in order to reduce the number and severity of accidents at the bottom of the hill.

“I presented this option to the Governor. I want the Phuket Highways Chief to revise the bend and improve the road on Patong Hill. This will help drivers’ visibility and reduce the gradient at the bottom of the hill. This is the faster plan,” she said.

Governor Norraphat ordered Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Thawornwat Kongkaew to form and head a committee assigned to tackle the problem.

“The PLTO must present its data on the number, frequency and severity of accidents on Patong Hill at the next meeting, next week,” Mayor Chalermluck told The Phuket News.

After yet another tour-bus accident last year, local residents appealed for Patong Municipality to barricade the entrance to the street to prevent runaway tour buses wiping out the fronts of their homes and killing residents. (See story here.)

To this, Mayor Chalermluck responded yesterday, “I don’t think this is a good plan. Even if we installed an a special wall to absorb the impact energy, I believe this will do more harm than good.”

Before the meeting started yesterday Governor Norraphat told the press that he would push to expedite the construction of the Patong Tunnel through the hills, a concept first floated some 20 years ago and now lost for more than 10 years in the halls of bureaucracy.

“The long-term solution for Patong Hill is the Patong Tunnel. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is finished. The extra budget for the construction project is available. I will urge this project to start fast as I can. That will definitely solve the accident problem.”

World Cup League @ BISP

However, Mayor Chalermluck, who herself hails from a local Patong family, discounted the notion of the decades-in-coming Patong Tunnel through the hills of having any positive impact soon.

“I have no hope the tunnel will come anytime soon. I won’t wait for it. Phuket will have come up with other options to solve this problem,” she said.

Meanwhile, Patong Police Chief Col Tassanai Orarigadech, who arrived on the island only weeks ago, called for bus operators to share responsibility for such accidents.

“The bus in this accident is from Phang Nga province. The bus is old, and was rented out for only B24,000 per month – that is cheap. This is almost certainly why the brakes failed,” Col Tassanai told The Phuket News.

“I am deeply saddened for those who lost family members during their travel in Phuket. They did not deserve this. Police have restricted the hours during which large buses can travel over the hill, but it is hasn’t helped. Theses accidents happen so many times outside of these hours,” he said.

“I have presented to the Phuket Governor to introduce new regulations to control buses from other provinces through the PLTO,” Col Tassanai explained.

“First, bus operators must specify the age of the bus’ engine to the PLTO,” he said.

“Second, police must be charge the owner of the bus, not just the driver. If the owners are forced to share responsibility for such accidents, they will make sure their buses are good enough to drive in Phuket,” Col Tassanai assured.

PLTO Chief Banyat Kantha, however, wants to focus on driver training.

“The main reason for these accidents is lack of experience among the drivers,” Chief Banyat told The Phuket News.

“So I have drafted a plan to create a course for bus drivers with the training provided by experienced drivers from the Andaman Tour Bus Association (ATBA),” he said.

“Regardless, all ideas will be presented at the meeting next week,” he added.



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:

Comments Left: Characters
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
   => Forget password?

skip | 13 July 2017 - 20:33:07

If the police enforced the law and the courts enforced the correct full penalties for these unscrupulous ILLEGAL business practices, it would be financially unsustainable for the companies to continue to avoiding routine maintenance. Currently its cheaper to pay the meagre fines and compensations to the victims compared to the savings made by avoiding purchasing quality buses, maintaining the buse...

The Phuket News

Thai truth | 13 July 2017 - 07:21:50

All busses should be marked in large print of the date of manufactured and name of manufacturers. No more deceiving tourist by putting a Mercedes Benz emblem on a 40 year old piece of crap bus that has been reshelled to make it look modern. Tourist then can decide if they want to get on a 40 year old bus that was made by a unknown company that no longer makes parts for these death traps. Hold tour...

The Phuket News

Werni | 12 July 2017 - 15:15:41

Limit access to the Patong Hill road to vehicles less than 3,5 tons and those more heavy must go via Karon or Surin

The Phuket News

malczx7r | 12 July 2017 - 14:52:51

Capt b, it's "hygroscopic" the definition of brake fluid.

The Phuket News

Foot | 12 July 2017 - 14:04:51

These bus death and destruction crashes will continue until local authorities decide to have police along the downside of Patong Hill. A strong police presence will send a message to the drivers to descend very slowly in low gear. Also, have police technicians stop the buses in Kathu, crawl under it and at least visually inspect the brakes, before the hill. Only by doing this, will the bus operato...

The Phuket News

Capt B | 12 July 2017 - 11:43:22

Dear Phuket News,
Apologies for the double post.
I just do not want the Governor to ignore this  “subliminal message”.

1) The driver is "Not At Fault".
2) The Bus Company is "Not At Fault".

3) The Mechanics / Engineering Company that serviced the Bus's / Heavy Vehicles That Carry paying passengers / Heavy Vehicle'...

The Phuket News
Matches 6 result(s)
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

AoT approves B60bn airport for Phang Nga ‘in principle’

P.S: How is the new Phuket public bus service doing along the west coast?...(Read More)

Red-shirt weapons seized, plot derailed, say police

Thai are and always will be in grip of thai powerful groups, never mind or it are yellow, red, orange or green colored clubs to fill coffers....(Read More)

16 foreign inmates to be sent home from Thailand

The foreign inmates returning to their country will be very happy. The thai inmates abroad will see their return to thailand, and a thai prison, as a...(Read More)

Phuket condo market climbs after big hit

Yeah, demand is up, that's why Emerald group and many others are in so much trouble for NOT building units they've taken deposits on, because ...(Read More)

Red-shirt weapons seized, plot derailed, say police

Very convenient timing for the 'find'....(Read More)

Red-shirt weapons seized, plot derailed, say police

Good example of the kind of people that are wishing to regain power in this country. They want their grip back on the power over the Thai people so th...(Read More)

AoT approves B60bn airport for Phang Nga ‘in principle’

Approved 'in pronciple'. Building another Phuket airport will put more pressure on the weak infrastructure of Phuket island. More, more tour...(Read More)

Cops raid shady electronic waste plant

As we read the article, the 3 years illegal 'import' toxic and hazardous waste into Thailand, hundreds of tons, was forbidden by law. Only ca...(Read More)

AoT approves B60bn airport for Phang Nga ‘in principle’

Build more airports! Ten million more passengers per year! Hey, how's about some basic infrastructure? Like maybe a more sophisticated sewage syst...(Read More)

International Surf Lifesaving Association issues Phuket travel warning

Let's hope everyone's volunteer visa and work permits are in order. Ruffling a few feathers...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2018 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.