The action came after a clip was posted online showing the driver, Suranat Aduman, using his mobile phone while driving from Phuket Town to Patong.
The post pointed out that Suranat was playing online slot machines all along the journey. The passengers were afraid they would be in an accident and that using the phone while driving was dangerous. “Almost crashed many times!” the post said.
Suranat was called to present himself at the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) yesterday (Feb 13), Present to process the accusations against him was Kornpitak Assuwan, Head of the PLTO’s Policy Division.
Mr Kornpitak explained to, and showed, reporters that the video clip posted online did not clearly show that Suranat was playing an online gambling game while driving.
“But it’s an offence to use your phone while driving, which is punishable by a fine of not more than B5,000,” he said.
“After today, he [Suranat] cannot drive for 90 days, and after that he must come back to the PLTo for training in order to get his driver’s licence points back,” Mr Kornpitak added.
“The PLTO would like to advise drivers of all types to strictly follow the law. Now there are tourists coming in, please help maintain a good image for Phuket and Thailand in terms of service and driving etiquette,” Mr Kornpitak said.
“This is something that I would like to recommend to everyone, whether they drive a private car or a taxi ‒ to strictly follow the law,” he added.
Suranat said that he played the game on his phone “for only a moment” and then hung up.
He was driving from Ratsada Pier to Patong at about 7pm, with seven passengers in the van.
“I did not know that someone had recorded the clip. It was the first time I did it and I was filmed playing slots,” he said.
“I have to look for a new job for a while now,” he added.
“I would like to remind people not to play on your phone while driving because it will have a bad effect,” he concluded.
JohnC | 15 February 2023 - 09:13:32