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Police address road conduct, licence issues with French Honorary Consul

Police address road conduct, licence issues with French Honorary Consul

PHUKET: Officers from Patong Police Station and the Phuket Tourist Police met with the Honorary Consul of France in Phuket yesterday (Feb 10) to discuss the recent issue of complaints against French nationals driving motorbikes irresponsibly in the popular tourist destination and the renting vehicles without the correct documentation.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 11 February 2023, 04:33PM

Please note the original story stated the Honorary Consul of France in Phuket as Mr Claude Maigrot De Crissey, who is actually the former person in the role. The current incumbent is Mr. Alain Faudot and the story has since been amended to reflect this.

Colonel Sujin Nilbadee, Superintendent of Patong Police Station and Pol. Lt. Col. Phum Semvoranon, deputy superintendent of investigation at Patong Police Station, met with the Honorary Consul of France in Phuket, Alain Faudot, to emphasise the Thai law relating to safe and responsible conduct when driving a vehicle.

Also discussed in yesterday’s meeting was the issue of foreigners renting bikes without a valid licence.

Of particular concern was tourists renting ‘big bikes’ for which many did not have a valid driving licence to operate such vehicles in Thailand. Foreigners without a Thai driver’s licence must have an International Driving Permit in order to legally drive in Thailand. A driver’s licence from their home country is not sufficient.

Mr Sujin confirmed that the rental operators found guilty of hiring such vehicles to people without a valid licence have been charged with a B1,000 fine as they are responsible for ensuring the correct and legal documentation is in place.

Similarly, anyone found guilty of renting a vehicle without the correct licence would also face a fine of B1,000, Col Sujin added.

He further explained that a number of French nationals had been arrested in Thursday’s clampdown and their details had been passed to Mr Faudot.

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Mr Faudot was requested by the officers to connect with French nationals to remind them of the road laws in Thailand and the necessaity to possess the correct licence when renting vehicles to avoid any further problems, Col Sujin said.

The meeting came after police received repeated complaints about foreigners on motorbikes in Patong, highlighting rude and dangerous behaviour. The complaints specifically noted French tourists as the culprits, Patong Police said, with local residents urging action be taken.

Some of the videos posted online plainly showed specific groups of foreigners gathering together to rev motorbike engines and zoom dangerously along the streets, Col Sujin said.

The behaviour was dangerous, and through social media could easily promote a negative image of tourism to Patong, and Thailand, he said.

This led to the major police sting on Thursday evening (Feb 9) which also highlighted the issue of people renting vehicles despite not possessing the correct licence to do so.

Within a period of just four hours on Thursday evening, Patong Police caught 39 foreigners on motorbikes for not wearing a helmet, 44 for not having a valid driver’s licence and eight for running red lights.

In enforcing the traffic laws in the tourist town, police additionally seized 15 motorbikes because the rental operator had rented the motorbike to a person without a valid driver’s licence.

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Kamala Pete | 15 February 2023 - 13:09:12

Kurt, informing the consul is not "the wrong end of the rope". Apparently many of these french arabs are receiving dole payments, and when the french SS department discovers that they're in Phuket "BANG" goes their dole!   

christysweet | 13 February 2023 - 16:08:17

The last paragraph is clear, 15 scooters were seized  from rental operators   That's  a deterrent but how long will this enforcement  effort last  ?

kiwiian | 13 February 2023 - 09:04:08

I don't understand why the licence issue is so hard to get under control. No valid driving licence = no motorbike, full stop.  Rental shops should be fined 10.000 Baht for renting out to anyone without the correct licence. This would stop the issue within a week.

Kurt | 12 February 2023 - 12:06:37

Rental shops just must to provide helmets, it's a rental package. And that illegal passport taking that continues..? Hm, Seems there is a good corporation between RTP and rental shops . Something about that Patong RTP Superintendent left the french honorary Consul nicely in the dark. Securing the kick back channels. What a mess.

JohnC | 12 February 2023 - 10:37:56

B1000 fine is not much of a deterrent to rental shops. Per bike or per offense would be better. Also fine them for not insisting the rentors take helmets with the bikes. Stop them trying to take tourist's passports as collateral against returing the bikes too, totally illegal to do this.

maverick | 12 February 2023 - 09:49:36

Similar discussions with other  honarary consuls would be in order as would publicly warning tourists that renting and riding motorbikes illegally will lead to arrest and penalties - may save some lives especially if the media highlights it 

Maurice | 12 February 2023 - 09:45:32

The fines are quite too low for those arab-french people with much money and no official job in France.  It is the job of the Police to be very strict, not only once a year... and the job of the immigration to decline their stay in Thailand.

Robin Lee | 12 February 2023 - 09:24:40

About time. Hopefully the traffic police continue this crackdown seriously and take appropriate actions accordingly. Have seen tourists who obviously do not know or any previous experiences as to how to ride motorcycles

Kurt | 12 February 2023 - 07:49:08

What is the logic of the RTP thinking to visit the Honorair Consul? Don't ask him to do the RTP job. And, protocollair ,not a RTP station superintendent but the Phuket Governor is the Official to talk with a foreign Consul about matters concerning tourists. RTP overstepped in doing. And what RTP should do they don't. Fines for rental shops are to low, unless it's B1000 for each bike.

Kurt | 11 February 2023 - 18:40:37

I seems to miss something. Think RTP Phuket must have the strenghts to control the Thai rental shops. Make Rental shop punishment that heavy ( a period shop closure, hefty fine, + permanent seizing motorbikes), Than it will be over. No need to start pulling wrong end of the rope. ( going to Consul). The problem starts with the Thai rental shops, not with holiday tourists.

Pascale | 11 February 2023 - 17:19:40

It's the same kind of "French" people who keep terrorising Patong for many years already. And  it's not a secret that the bikes they rent are coming from shops unofficialy owned and run by french people too.

Prab | 11 February 2023 - 16:47:52

why it always be some nationality ( french/Russian etc )? can they not simple apply the same for EVERYONE no matter where they come from  and also Thais off course ? this would help greatly ... 


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