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PM Prayut orders crackdown on Phuket's rude, cheating, violent taxi, van drivers

PHUKET: Complaints by tourists about Phuket taxi and van drivers being rude, deceiving, threatening rip-offs being sent directly to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has prompted a campaign by local police to cleanup the industry by targeting ‘bad behaviour’ in Phuket’s privately-run “public transport” industry.

By Suthicha Sirirat

Wednesday 10 February 2016, 12:22PM

The mandate was levelled at Wichit Municipality office yesterday (Feb 9) at a meeting presided by Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada.

Present at the meeting were representatives from the Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command, Region 8 Police, Provincial Police, the Phuket Tourism and Sports office, Tourist Police, the Phuket Land Transport Office, “public transport” operators and drivers themselves.

“Today we rely more and more on public transportation and in the past we have heard of so many problems involve drivers’ behaviour, such as charging inflated fares, not using the meter, dropping off tourists at the wrong place, being rude, disrespectful, fighting over passengers and even threatening passengers,” said Phuket City Police Deputy Commander Col Sakchai Limjaroen.

“All these behaviours are unacceptable and not professional, which often leads to assault and abuse of tourists – and many tourists have sent complaints to the NCPO.”

The order to clean up the industry has come from the very top, Col Sakchai explained.

“As a result of all this, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered the Commander of the Royal Thai Police to solve this issue,” he said.

“Hence, Royal Thai Police Deputy Commander Gen Wuthi Liptapallop has ordered all police officers to strictly enforce traffic laws, especially those regulating transport drivers,” he added.

The purpose of the meeting yesterday was to deliver a warning shot, he added.

“We were ordered to give this warning first, before we start to crack down on transport drivers,” Col Sakchai explained.

At the meeting, officials took turns to explain to transport operators and drivers present the public transport laws and how to provide good customer service, in order to avoid any more complaints from passengers and to promote a “good tourism image”.

“I want everyone to cooperate and be willing to follow the laws to help us promote a good tourism image for the island and for the country. By doing so only brings more tourists and boosts our economy,” Gov Chamroen noted.



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Christy K Sweet | 12 February 2016 - 07:57:02

Agree with comments below, it's the speeding and reckless driving such as tailgating that needs addressing, not their personalities, (which are usually very polite.) It isn't likely to happen though, when perfectly adequate and safe roads are being widened to facilitate just this kind of maniacal speeding.

Sam hayman | 11 February 2016 - 11:25:32

How about speeding? Why is it taxi and van drivers can abuse the speed limit and drive around at dangerous speeds in built up areas?

They show diregard for the speed limit and road laws.

LES | 10 February 2016 - 23:42:42

This problem has been going on for so long is it any wonder tourists dont return. And why would they when they are threatened, have their lives put at risk by maniac fast drivers who wish to get from A to B as quickly as possible, be over priced or not dropped off outside their hotels but are made to walk 100 yards with suitcases so the minibus driver can save a few minutes.
I have witnessed all ...

Richard Vickers | 10 February 2016 - 21:55:23

Yeah this is going to happen. Great idea, but when Prime Minister Chan-o-cha stated that he "has ordered the Commander of the Royal Thai Police to solve this issue,”... all hope went down.  This is just a silly waste of time.

Jimb | 10 February 2016 - 18:45:57

Best joke of the day ! 
The day that the taxi/transport industry is cleaned up will be the same day that pigs will fly.
Heard it too many times before.

stegee | 10 February 2016 - 18:36:08


ematt | 10 February 2016 - 17:19:50

So, how about passing on the left, driving in the motorbike lane, and then forcing their way back into traffic? Doing the double overtake and cutting in front of everyone at the U-turn? Refusing to give way to ambulances and emergency vehicles? Taking up every available parking space at the beach? Etc etc etc...

Kurt | 10 February 2016 - 15:19:35

Why the Phuket police needs a special order from 'Bangkok' ( NCPO) to enforce existing laws regarding rude, cheating, violent taxi and van drivers?
Was it not their job before?

TTT TonyTheTiger | 10 February 2016 - 14:48:49

I'll believe when I see better than the current 15% of children on motorcycles, carts and the back of Pickups wearing helmets, motorcycles and carts not parking on side walks (or pedestrian walks as they are considered in other parts of the world), motorcycles driving in the correct direction, vehicles actually caring about yielding to pedestrians, especially the school children trying to cros...

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