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Phuket Opinion: Sheltered from reality

PHUKET: The Phuket News continuously receives comments via its website and Facebook page from a number of foreigners complaining about how foreigners are the only people on the island that ever get stopped and fined by police – mainly for not wearing a helmet.

By The Phuket News

Sunday 16 April 2017, 08:00AM

If Phuket expats and tourists think they are 'victimized' by being the only ones targeted in police campaigns, think again. Photo: Yutthawat Lekmak

If Phuket expats and tourists think they are 'victimized' by being the only ones targeted in police campaigns, think again. Photo: Yutthawat Lekmak

This writer has absolutely no idea where these foreigners live their cocooned lives, but what is clear is that they need to get out more to see who actually gets checked for what and when. The Phuket News would like to ask these commenters if they have ever been stopped at a police checkpoint and asked to pee in a plastic container? These pots of pee are immediately tested for drug use. If the pee turns purple it’s positive, if it doesn’t change colour it’s negative.

Should one’s pee turn purple, heaven forbid – because these commenters presumably believe that no foreigners would even contemplate using recreational drugs while here on this paradise island – then action will be taken against you.

Police will prosecute those whose pee turns purple and according to the law, they will be fined, arrested, imprisoned and who knows... because these pee tests are rarely carried out on foreigners, but in some areas, where mainly Thais live, they are an every night occurrence.

Furthermore, have these commenters contemplated why certain areas, those inhabited mainly by foreigners, are clamped down on by police? This writer can guarantee that if anyone was to drive through an area mainly inhabited by foreigners, such as Kamala, Patong, Nai Harn or Rawai, at any given time of day or day of the week, he/she would witness the vast majority of foreigners riding motorbikes in these areas doing so without wearing a helmet, thus breaking the law. Is it really any wonder why police really target these areas when the foreigners routinely break the law.

For these commenters who frequently belittle the police for “only stopping and fining foreigners”, please, on any given night, go through a backstreet in Rassada, Srisoonthorn or Wichit and see how many checkpoints are specifically set up to test Thais, not only for riding without a helmet, but also for drug use. This might actually change your belief that you are the only ones ever stopped and fined for anything.

The Phuket News often criticizes the police, when they deserve it, but there are also many foreigners here that deserve criticism, as they appear to live their lives in a blinkered state.



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ematt | 30 December 2017 - 10:39:53

Hilarious reactions from self-righteous punters here when their delusional reality is challenged. 

My personal favorite: Someone complains about an opinion piece being "just one person's opinion".  Priceless!

Christy Sweet | 29 December 2017 - 18:55:48

I thought the personal bickering comments were to be disallowed. 

Jor12 | 17 April 2017 - 19:54:52

Gordon Gecko...well hell, I didn't know that! If you know all of this why are you not reporting it? If you don't know, then the rest of your post is meaningless and defamatory.

malczx7r | 17 April 2017 - 13:41:40

Foot - Rhetorical question there "a good one for a reasonable price" You get what you pay for i paid around 18,000b for mine in the UK, my mate always says a £1 helmet for a £1 head!

Gordon Gecko | 17 April 2017 - 13:29:24

It's well known the police extort money out of Thai's and foreigners and not all of it is official fines. The police service is not a service here but a business ...

Pauly44 | 17 April 2017 - 11:45:35

Agree Rorii, one opinion, hardly factual or newsworthy, it's readily apparent farang are targeted more for minor indiscretions over locals for shakedowns in tourist areas, having said that if you follow the rules they have no reason to fine you so lesson here is do everything right and don't give them the satisfaction!

BenPendejo | 17 April 2017 - 10:45:11

I'll admit that I have no idea what goes on in "Thai Town"...but to assert that farangs aren't targeted disproportionately and fleeced on the spot is ridiculous.  I spend lots of time in Kamala, and I'll tell you that I never see police doing anything to Thais OR farangs. I do see them standing around intersections watching motorbikes ridden by 3 stupid kids with no helmets, ...

Nasa1234 | 17 April 2017 - 07:36:06

But how can Farang Police from Chalong give ticket ? They wright some on the paper and 500 Baht and give to the Police some sitting under the tree. Have this volunteer Work Permit = No and B-Visa = No. The same in Immigration in Phuket Town no money ,they most pay fore every thing uniform ++.But give them 500 Baht if they not have International driver license or us helmet, But take the motorbike f...

ERICLEK64 | 16 April 2017 - 19:42:37

Rules and duties are for all of us also for tourists, many think on  holiday everything is permitted in the foreign country they visit, this is a bad attitude to. At the other side overcharging taxi drivers are a pest on the island, last week one of my customers was charged from cherng talay to Mannik(just beside) for 5 km max 400 baht, that .... wanted even to charge them more on arrival"ho ...

Rorii | 16 April 2017 - 15:18:29

OMG, one person's opinion, and apparently very biased, and it becomes an article, this could easily be countered by any number of other peoples opinions, this actually seems as though it is written by one of those anti-kurt gang members, there is so much wrong with this article it wouldn't stand scrutinizing, I can understand why the likes of Eagle would support it. It's a shame PN eve...

Foot | 16 April 2017 - 15:00:39

I've had no experience with the drug or alcohol thing, and, I do wear a helmet, though a good one is impossible to find for a reasonable price.
C'mon Phuket News.  Any stop has a preponderance of falangs while Thais normally get through.  Albi is correct about the assumption are ATMs and will pay more than a Thai.

Tinkerbell | 16 April 2017 - 11:20:23


martinus | 16 April 2017 - 11:08:44

I respect your polce doing their work, but am very concerned about soo many motor bikes on road at Night with NO LIGHTS, this is very dangerous, I cannot understand why this is legal ?? 

Discover Thainess | 16 April 2017 - 08:08:12

Great article and I could not agree more! Well written, Phuket News!  Anyone riding without a good quality helmet in a country that has the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in the world needs their brain examined ... most likely as it lies splattered on the road. Be safe out there, everyone! 

Bjay | 16 April 2017 - 07:59:53

Anybody who is stopped for not wearing a helmet they deserve to be fined; Thai's or Farange!

Albi | 16 April 2017 - 07:51:49

As a frequent visitor I follow the laws and have never been targetted so I agree with your comments and think that if foreigners obeyed the laws they would enjoy Thailand as much as I do. That said, foreigners if caught are looked upon as walking ATM machines and sometimes told to pay ridiculous amounts of fines!. However, dont break the law and you wont find out!

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