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Phuket airport taxi driver banned over drug use, road rage

Phuket airport taxi driver banned over drug use, road rage

PHUKET: A Phuket taxi driver has had his licence revoked after testing positive for drug use following a road rage incident in Kathu last night.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 11 October 2022, 07:19PM

Kornphithak Assuwan of the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office (PLTO) confirmed the news at Kathu Police Station this morning, announced a report by the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department (PR Phuket) earlier today (Oct 11).

The taxi driver was named as Jirasak Raiyai, 33.

Referring to Jirasak as a “public service driver”, Mr Kornphithak recognised that the incident became known after a video clip of Jirasak’s behaviour was posted online.

Jirasak’s licence has been revoked due to evidence of substance abuse, he said.

Jirasak also will be fined no more than B5,000 for the vulgar language he used during the incident, he added.

Kathu Police Chief Col Rungrit Ratanaphakdi confirmed that Jirasak has been charged after testing positive for a Category 1 narcotic (methamphetamine).

Jirasak has also been charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence.

The video posted online showed Jirsak abusing a man who had asked him to calm down after he abused drivers of other vehicles for not getting out of his way while they were waiting at a red light at the busy Si Kor Intersection in Kathu.

The man who recorded the video, Passakorn Sirichuchot, also asked the taxi driver why he was behaving so rudely to the other drivers when all they were doing was waiting for the light to turn green.

The taxi driver responded, “I’m Phuket [person]. Where are you from? Don’t come here.”

Mr Passakorn pointed out that the people of Phuket didn’t want to let such behaviour destroy the image of the Phuket people, so he called the police.

The taxi driver, angered further, exited his vehicle and unloaded a tirade of vulgar abuse at Mr Passakorn before getting back in his taxi, shouting obscenities about Mr Passkorn’s mother then driving off.

“The taxi driver was in a hurry. He was trying to push through the red light, but there were other vehicles in front of him,” Mr Passakorn later told reporters.

Jirasak was trying to turn left towards Phuket Town, but the lane was blocked by vehicles waiting for the red light, he added.

“He opened his window and scolded the drivers in the other cars. There was a motorbike in front of him, and he moved his car to push the motorbike out of the way. The motorbike driver moved his motorbike, but then other cars still blocked his way,” he continued.

“I cautioned him, and told him that he was being obnoxious, but he just replied angrily and shouted, ‘I’m a Phuket person,” he added. 

The taxi involved was emblazoned with the logo of one of the cooperatives that have exclusive rights to pick up passengers at Phuket airport.

The taxi also carried the legally required sticker informing people of the taxi complaints hotline 1584.

The taxi also carried the official sticker confirming the vehicle was an approved SHA+ taxi, as needed in order to operate during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of note, the statements to the press today by police and the PLTO made no mention of the random drug tests on taxi drivers operating at Phuket airport launched in July in the hope of having the airport declared a “White Airport” and boost confidence among tourists that they are getting a “clean” driver.

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub

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Pooliekev | 12 October 2022 - 14:21:50

Well done @JohnC. You've managed to get the perceived crimes and the likely outcome all in a brief message. Total fantasy but entertaining at least.

BrianinKathu | 12 October 2022 - 13:04:02

That particular left turn is illegal unless the left turn arrow is green - l see there is no mention of that from the police

Fascinated | 12 October 2022 - 12:28:04

These idiots try to push through traffic in kamala as well. They drive down the clearly marked filter lane and try to bully their way into the proper lane when the lights change. They hate being squeezed out by other road users who are sick of them.

Fascinated | 12 October 2022 - 10:35:09

The 'Jai Yen Yen' meeting clearly had an impact then. get the Army in to sort out these thugs- its the only language they understand. Yet again the incident only came to light courtesy of social media. Continue the 'name and shame' campaign.

JohnC | 12 October 2022 - 09:37:32

Nothing new here. Normal behaviour for many of these oxygen thieves mistakenly referred to as "taxi drivers". Did they happen to check under his seats to see what weapons he may also be carrying? The story says licence revoked but not for how long. He will be back terrorising locals and tourists again within a few weeks once the furor has abated. Disgracful conduct!


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