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Phuket Poll: Do current traffic penalties work?

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong last week recounted Phuket’s death and injury toll during the Songkran “Seven Days of Danger” road-safety campaign, held April 11-17. The toll for the one week stood at four dead and 70 people injured in 67 accidents.

transport, accidents, crime, police,

The Phuket News

Monday 24 April 2017, 09:29AM

Fines by police deter some people from breaking the law, but do they do enough? Or do penalties for traffic violations need to be harsher? Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot
Fines by police deter some people from breaking the law, but do they do enough? Or do penalties for traffic violations need to be harsher? Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

Gov Norraphat, who began his term as Governor of Phuket only on April 10, vowed to “bring all the road accident statistics and other relevant information to discuss with the Phuket Provincial Committee to come up with ways to solve this problem and create a campaign that will make driving safer in Phuket.” (See story here.)

That promise came on the back of police announcing how many people were fined for traffic violations during the seven days. Notably, the greatest offenders were 5,628 people fined for not wearing helmets; and 3,075 fined for driving without a licence. (See story here.)

However, even officials in Bangkok have recognised that the current range of penalties for traffic violations are not enough to correct people’s behaviour. On Songkran last year they started forcing some offenders to perform community service by helping out at morgues and came back to this practice in 2017. (See story here.)

The Phuket News has yet to hear of any such alternative forms of punishment for traffic offenders in Phuket, and hence ask our readers the simple question, “Do the current penalties deter people from breaking the traffic laws?”

Responses available are:

1) Yes, the current penalties are enough; there is no need to change anything

2) Yes, the current penalties are enough, but enforcement is lacking

3) No, the current penalties do not deter traffic offenders and must be made harsher, for example fines should be increased

4) No, the current penalties, which are mostly fines, do not work and officials must also use alternative punishments such as community service.

To vote in the poll, click here.

The poll will close at midnight Sunday, May 7.

If your preferred response is not available, feel free to add it in the comments below.

To see the results of our previous poll, asking “Should tour guides or tourists be charged for coral damage?”, click here.



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Jor12 | 26 April 2017 - 13:12:04

I cannot see the need for another talk fest, or a silly poll focusing on penalties and a story that only elicits comments from the crazies - want to lock up everyone; fines where one has to sell ones house; police on every corner...ridiculous. Every since the invention of the motor vehicle and the need for a person to walk in front of the vehicle with a red flag, numerous studies have been conducted as to ways to minimise road accidents/deaths. One excellent piece of research is from the World Health Organisation, particularly Chapter 4

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Capt B | 25 April 2017 - 10:54:31

267 arrested for drunk driving !!!

Dear Capt B,

Thank you for your letter about penalties for drink drivers and the incident you were involved in with a drink driver.
I am sorry to hear about the incident and the consequences it has had for you. Your frustration and your request to jail all drink drivers is understandable given your injuries and the long term effects of that tragic event on your life.
Due to the serious nature of drink driving matters, they are dealt with by the Courts in NSW. The Magistrate then decides the matter and penalties based on the information provided in Court.
The NSW Government has introduced a number of strategies to address drink driving,including enforcement education programs and media campaigns. There are also significant penalties that can be imposed at court that act as a deterrent against drink driving.
Transport for NSW will continue to explore strategies to reduce the trauma caused by drink driving on our roads.

Yours sincerely,
A Useless Australian Politician
Director General

The above is a reply to a Request;

1) Mandatory (Compulsory) Jail Sentences for ALL DRUNK DRIVERS.
   Any new legislation has to totally remove the Judge's /Magistrate's option to give the offender a suspended sentence.

LOCK ALL DRUNK DRIVERS UP !!!!  No Suspended Sentences. Its the best education program all the drunk drivers on Thai roads will ever get.

So when your flight to Thailand is just about to touch down, you will not only receive the verbal warning about Drug Offences, you also receive the following warning;

This has to be done now while Thailand has a good military government. Do not leave it up to a Whisky Drinking Drunk Driver Politician or the New Legislation will never get passed.


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CaptainJack69 | 24 April 2017 - 23:57:47

"Alternative punishments" should include both losing their license AND prison time for driving without a license. Of course this (and everything else in the real world) would require proper enforcement by the police and so (of course) will never happen.

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Kurt | 24 April 2017 - 18:50:05

Traffic fines should be about as high as week income of the middle income groups here in Thailand.
In west Europe, parking on a disable parking space? Fine is 370 Euro.
Parking were it is not allowed, car taken away to secured depot.
Pay 90 Euro fine in police station ( get a printed bill for illegal parking, no corruption), than to the depot, pay another 306 Euro for storage to get your car back.
If Thailand make fines 3-4000 thb for same traffic law violations you will see that thai people start to think in their wallet.
All that 500 thb fine thing is idiot. Thai just laugh about.

Ever seen a car, illegal parked at disable parking spot tugged away in Thailand? Try in Europe. 
Fine ( 370) + storage fee ( 306). After paying 676 Euro's you get your car back.
And than you are still lucky that they not hold your driving license for a month or 2 by government attorney action.

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DMac | 24 April 2017 - 16:45:34

Fines applied in the hundreds of Baht will have zero effect. And anyway, the way in which fines are applied is, like the policing of the laws themselves, selective and changeable. The problem is more deeply rooted than can be fixed by fines or laws. It is a whole mindset challenge. The problem begins with (a lack of) education, bad examples being set, a lack of proper parental guidance. People predominantly have no respect for traffic laws, nor the police force charged with the responsibility of applying them. People predominantly have little apparent respect for life - either their own or other people's. When three under-age teenagers can happily ride a motorcycle at speed in the wrong lane of a 3-lane highway, moving against the flow of other traffic, riding right past a police box and a police station - I doubt that a revision of fines or laws will alter their behaviour and perception of what is right and wrong.

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BenPendejo | 24 April 2017 - 10:33:13

Of course penalties are ridiculously low and provide minimal disincentive to keep reckless fools from being reckless fools. But, as most people will agree, enforcement is pathetic and amounts to little more than the BIBs supplementing their incomes by fleecing tourists.  Fines and penalties for speeding, tailgating, talking/texting while driving and reckless driving need to increase significantly if Thailand wants to get serious about improving road at least 5,000 baht for first offense, as well as completion of a road safety course that they must also pay about 2,500 baht for.  The worst practice- ghostriding, should be zero tolerance with minimum 2,000 baht fine, and doubled when helmetless children are on the motorbike.  That reckless and irresponsible practice needs to be stopped...PERIOD.  But then...all of this will be for naught because the root of the problem will continue to rest with worthless police.  Phuket really needs an emergency Army/Navy law enforcement task force that can come in and make it known that times have changed, and stupid driving will no longer be tolerated.

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simon01 | 24 April 2017 - 09:47:53

Option 3 is needed but has to be enforce far better too.

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