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Phuket Governor laments three dead during Songkran road-safety campaign

PHUKET: Governor of Phuket, Chamroen Tipayapongtada, today lamented the three deaths during the Seven days of Danger Songkran road-safety campaign, which officially ended at midnight last night (Apr 17).

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By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Monday 18 April 2016, 04:44PM


Boontan Sonthon, 34, died after losing control of his motorbike and crashing into a roadside pylon in Cherng Talay on Saturday (Apr 16). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Boontan Sonthon, 34, died after losing control of his motorbike and crashing into a roadside pylon in Cherng Talay on Saturday (Apr 16). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The news comes as Thailand experienced its worst road-fatality rate during a “Seven Days” campaign for Songkran in national history. (See story here.)

“The three deaths in Phuket are very sad news,” Gov Chamroen said.

“We did the best we could, but many of the accidents were not related to regular traffic. The main causes of accidents, and the resulting deaths and injuries, were drunk driving, motorcyclists not wearing helmets, and reckless driving to the point that there were single-vehicle accidents.

“We are looking deeper into this and hopefully we can reduce the number of people killed on Phuket’s roads to zero,” Gov Chamroen said.

During the the Seven Days of Danger campaign in Phuket, which started at midnight on April 11 and saw the government introduce measures in a attempt to reduce road fatalities, the province had one of the lowest fatalities rates in the country, three.

The first Phuket fatality during the campaign was Swedish national Johnny Daniel Soderstrom, 41, in Phuket for Phuket Bike Week, who died after he crashed his motorbike on Thepkrasattri Bridge last Thursday night (Apr 14). (See story here.)

Narong Jarat, 44, became the second victim after he was fatally injured by Russian national Ruslan Gainutdinov, 37, who is facing a charge of reckless driving causing death for driving his car down the wrong side of a street in Rawai that same night (Apr 14).

Mr Narong was fatally injured while riding his motorbike in the opposite direction on the correct side of the road. Hospital staff reported Mr Narong had died from his injuries at 10am the next day. (See story here.)

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Boontan Sonthon, 34, died after losing control of his motorbike and crashing into a roadside pylon in Cherng Talay on Saturday (Apr 16). (See story here.)

This year, in addition to the three deaths, 62 people in Phuket suffered injuries in a total of 57 reported road accidents. Last year there were 57 reported accidents leaving 58 people with injuries – but zero deaths.

Of the 57 reported accidents this year, 26 occurred in Muang district, 24 in Thalang and seven in Kathu.

In terms of police action, during this year’s campaign 4,871 people were fined for not wearing a helmet, 245 people charged with drunk driving, and 2,422 for driving without a licence.

There were 132 people fined for using a phone while driving, 55 for running red lights, and 486 more for not wearing a seat belt.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation also reported that 46 people were charged with reckless driving (all motorbikes), and 93 for illegally riding/driving against traffic flow.

However, not a single person was recorded as charged for speeding.

 

 

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Richard Vickers | 19 April 2016 - 14:28:27

Pauly, I agree that a big part of the highway danger problem is due to a lack of education and selfish attitudes, but even more blame needs to be directed at the impotent police force. You and I know, as Rich44 eludes to, is that the only thing they do is man checkpoints.  In the last 5 years I can count the number of people I've seen  pulled over on one hand, and those were farangs that the p...

Kurt | 19 April 2016 - 12:49:24

The Phuket Governor lamented about 3 deaths. Why?
It is just the average number throughout 365 days a year. And no thai seems to care about it.

Phuket Governor should count his blessings with only 3 deaths, compared with the increased numbers in the rest of Thailand.

Why did he not 'order' the  Phuket highway police cars to patrol the roads?  I didn't see them, as we never do.
...

Rich 44 | 18 April 2016 - 22:54:49

With speeders and cut off artists endangering us all on the roads, it seems to make no sense for the police to bunch up at check points while the dangerous drivers have free range all over the highways. Checkpoints do snare many a good driver who has had a few nips but can still drive perfectly well. How much were they each "Street Fined" anyway? My advice is, Get out on the roads and ta...

Pauly44 | 18 April 2016 - 18:21:24

So not wearing a helmet causes accidents? 
The majority of road users in Thailand are reckless, irresponsible, inconsiderate and lawless, this is due to a lack of education and selfish attitude which is instilled from an early age. As an outsider it's really quite breathtaking just how bad it is but of course the locals know no different but the authorities thinking more police and more roadb...

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