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Phuket officials to set up checkpoints for deadly Patong Hill

PHUKET: As a temporary measure to help reduce accidents on Phuket’s notorious Patong Hill, officials from the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office (PLTO) are to set up checkpoints on roads leading to and from the hill to monitor the condition of cars and drivers, check driver’s licenses and monitor alcohol levels of motorists.

accidents, death, health, transport,

The Phuket News

Tuesday 18 July 2017, 12:05PM

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong seen here at yesterday's (July 17) meeting. Photo: PR Dept
Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong seen here at yesterday's (July 17) meeting. Photo: PR Dept

However, officials from the PLTO official are not yet able to confirm when they will begin the checkpoints as the budget and workforce details have not yet been calculated.

The decision to start the checkpoints was made at a meeting held at Phuket City Hall at 2pm yesterday (July 17) to pinpoint the risk factors and discuss prevention methods with regards to road accidents on Patong Hill.

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong presided over the meeting with participation from Chief of Patong Police Col Tassanai Orarigadech, Patong Mayor Mrs Chalermluck Kepsup, Director of the Bureau of Highway Safety Sujin Mungnimit, Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office (PLTO) official Mr Prapai Suankool and representatives from the Phuket Highway District Office.

Gov Norraphat opened the meeting by reiterating that due to the gradient of Patong Hill, there have been a lot of accidents involving public transport vehicles that have led to injuries and deaths.

After much discussion, including a suggestion from the Director of the Bureau of Highway Safety Mr Sujin that laying red anti-skid material on the road surface be considered, the resolution agreed upon was that the PLTO would be assigned to set up checkpoints around Patong Hill to monitor the condition of cars and drivers, check driver’s licenses and monitor alcohol use as a temporary accident prevention method.

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The PLTO will be responsible for setting the locations of the checkpoints, stationing a group of officers at the checkpoints and managing them, urgently.

Meanwhile, the Phuket Highway District Office was assigned to check the road engineering of Patong Hill and find solutions for a safer road surface, such as painting the road surface thicker to prevent slipperiness, and checking all traffic signs and signals.

However, for the long-term, officials discussed the future construction of a tunnel through the hill and adjustment of the road gradient, noting that a high budget would be required for both of these solutions.

Yesterday’s meeting was held following the Mayor of Patong calling 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.

That plea came at an emergency meeting of officials called by Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong last Tuesday (July 12) (see story here) in the aftermath of the tragic accident last Monday night (July 10) that killed a 10-year-old Chinese tourist boy and his father. (See story here.)



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Mj | 18 July 2017 - 17:47:53

Would not the first priority be to check the conditions of all buses.
Just another useless talking from the Government that will disappear within a week

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Rorri | 18 July 2017 - 16:12:44

They've done/said this before, it lasted less than a week. These fools must think we have short memories.

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Christy Sweet | 18 July 2017 - 16:04:23

The answer is so simple and can be done with  one officer. Clear downhill traffic for large vehicles  so the brakes are not used excessively. It will cause far less back ups than checking vehicles-and just how will that be done? X-ray vision?
 Placing checkpoints at the bottom of the hill will just exacerbate  the hot brake failing situation. Look for quite a few police officers to be wiped out r...

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Foot | 18 July 2017 - 15:44:28

Captain Jack is correct.  It's the buses.
Set up police along the hill, not at the bottom.  Much easier, more efficient, and cheaper than another overpriced tunnel.

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Bentley | 18 July 2017 - 14:59:34

This must be some kind of a joke. Everyone knows it's the busses and heavy trucks that cause the problems, now they are going to check up on the CARS?? Are they stupid!!!

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CaptainJack69 | 18 July 2017 - 12:23:02

'We know you're all looking at us so we're going to try and appear to be doing something'...

Randomly stopping cars is going to cause traffic chaos. It's not cars that are causing these tragic deaths.

"pinpoint the risk factors..." BUSES!

"discuss prevention methods..." INSPECT BUSES!

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