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.