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Police ban electric scooters from all Phuket roads

Police ban electric scooters from all Phuket roads

PHUKET: People caught riding electric scooters on public roads may be fined up to B10,000 under an order issued by Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Sermphan Sirikong.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Tuesday 22 February 2022, 12:37PM

Maj Gen Sermphan issued an official notice to all police stations across the island today (Feb 22), informing officers that electric scooters are not permitted on public roads.

People caught riding electric scooters on public roads may be fined with operating an unregistered vehicle on a public road under Section 6 of the Motor Vehicle Act, Maj Gen Sermphan noted.

The penalty is a fine of up to B10,000, he added.

People caught riding electric scooters on public roads also could be charged with operating a vehicle without a valid licence under Section 64 of the same act, as no licence exists for operating electric scooters, as they are not recognised as vehicles by the Department of Land Transport and hence cannot be registered, Maj Gen Sermphan said in the order.

The penalty for operating a vehicle without a licence is up to six months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to B9,000, or both, Maj Gen Sermphan added.

However, Maj Gen Sermphan did ask officers to issue warnings first before moving to press formal charges.

Maj Gen Sermphan also explained to police that the law applies to public roads only.

“Electric scooters may be used in parks, but not on the roads” he said.

Of note, The Phuket News understands that whether or not electric scooters may be used in a public park is a matter for the relevant local municipality to decide. Local municipalities have yet to announce whether or not electric scooters may be used in public recreation areas within their respective jurisdictions.

Blue Tree Phuket

The order issued by Maj Gen Sermphan today follows police in Patong last week seizing four electric scooters being ridden by tourists on the streets of the tourism town.

Patong Police issued a general warning that anyone caught riding an unregistered vehicle would be liable to be charged and fined, although the exact amount was not specified.

Patong Police Chief Col Sujin Nilabadee yesterday issued an order for his officers to “publicise” where electric scooters may be used, and parked, with electric scooter rental services for tourists located throughout Patong, while maintaining that the use of electric scooters is prohibited on Patong roads.

Col Sujin said that riding a scooter on a public road is an offence under the current laws. He noted:

  1. It is forbidden for anyone to use an unregistered vehicle to be used in a wrongful way. The punishment with a fine is not more than B10,000.
  2. If an offence is found, electric scooters must be seized.
  3. If an accident happens, there is no protection under the law.
  4. If a scooter driver hits a person or another person’s vehicle, they will automatically be at fault.
  5. Patong Police have requested the Phuket Land Transportation Office (PLTO) to ensure that electric scooters cannot be registered as a vehicle.

Col Sujin yesterday met with officers from the PLTO, Patong Municipality and electric scooter rental operators to ensure they understood the police’s stance on using electric scooters on public thoroughfares.

The rental operators agreed to temporarily halt renting out electric scooters, notbaly after they were informed that they would be held responsible for providing the electric scooter if an accident occurs.

“It will be dangerous for people who use the road, and most of the people who use electric scooters are usually tourists,” Col Sujin said.

“If clarifications and warnings are still not obeyed, legal action will be taken,” he warned.

The issue will be raised with provincial officials, Col Sujin noted.

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Kurt | 24 February 2022 - 13:46:19

Now waiting reaction Gen Maj Sermphan how he justify  he allows the illegal not insured saleangs on the roads? Seems Gen Maj Sermphan for some dark reason practise Thai rubber law handling. His simple law wise uneducated lower ranks are now just given a easy face saving selective thing to do. LOL. Cheap simple charlie work. Handle the Phuket transport cartel mafia  if he dares.

Kurt | 24 February 2022 - 11:12:51

Stepps/mopeds, declared by RTP being a 'scooter'.RTP really thinking the public believe their non law nonsens? Sure, local 'thinking' as they are, they don't know that such mopeds are used in overseas airports/large factories by many staff. Wish RTP direct energy on keeping pedestrian walking space free of parking, cart sales business if RTP is so concerned about public safety....

JohnC | 24 February 2022 - 09:28:50

Define what you refer to as 'scooters'. Do you just mean these kiddie toys? Mopeds are referred to as scooters by many and I have seen quite a few of those converted to three wheels with electric power. Are these illegal too? Or like the salaengs which clog the roads and are the biggest danger to all, are actually illegal but nothing is ever done about it?

SadButTrue | 23 February 2022 - 12:09:30

I'm riding this things 4 years, and I own 6 electric scooters. This kind of transport a little more dangerous then a bicycle, in exchange of a little higher speed. Newbie e-driver is same dangerous as bicycle driver, bicycle is slower but it's much harder to balance for beginner. 

Is it a better if new driver will rent a motorbike, in terms of safety?
20kg 30km/h vs 100kg  100km/h

Kurt | 23 February 2022 - 09:40:54

This whole electric step police matter is a big joke. All illegal selangs are not insured. According the law not possible. Same with electric stepps. This thing is  not even mentioned in the law as it is a new phenomenon.  Very funny ( unlawful?) selective police work.

Capricornball | 23 February 2022 - 09:17:51

You're right PJ.  It will probably be just a matter of time before some "special people" make some "special" arrangements with their cronies in high places, then they'll be all fine and dandy and the "special people" will have another money-making scheme under their belt.

SimLim | 23 February 2022 - 02:05:01

The Taxi mafia always wins!

CaptainJack69 | 22 February 2022 - 22:56:26

Unfortunately, they're spot on with this. Most developed countries are banning these things. High centre of mass, low turning moment on the handlebars, tiny wheels and no suspension. Recipe for disaster. Pedal assist e-bicycles though are a great idea since legally they're just bicycles.

PJ | 22 February 2022 - 19:47:11

Mixed feelings about this.  In general I’m glad they’re gone as uninsured (but so are many motorcycles) and hate the way they creep up on you etc.. on the other hand with poor public transport , taxi mafias and lack of parking.. they fill a useful service.... clearly there is a niche for them as in many other cities.   A ban can only be a temporary fix

Pooliekev | 22 February 2022 - 17:55:33

@Capricornball. You can't ride one then? You should try, very good fun. 

Capricornball | 22 February 2022 - 16:33:35

Good, these miserable toys have taken over public walkways and bike paths in Oz and the US. There are dangerous as if these roads aren't already dangerous enough. People that bought these for rental obviously didn't even care to inquire about the legality, and that is how things work when you have a do-nothing police force. Get rid of these things before they gain a foothold.

Sam Thompson | 22 February 2022 - 14:32:55

How about the sidealks and designated cycle paths [Cherngtalay]...more sabre rattling with little action

Den Alder | 22 February 2022 - 14:25:10

So, they found something new to charge tourists with. What about the saleng (sidecar)? Here is a quote from a rival newspaper some while ago:
Are sidecars legal?
The answer then from Somjit Boonchaoy at the Phuket Provincial Transportation Office was, “Yes, it is. There is no Thai law that allows a motorcycle with a sidecar to be legally registered. This means they cannot be legitimately insur

Nasa12 | 22 February 2022 - 13:47:34

And then we most ask RTP if all of this motorbike they build saleng on, are they legal or not. Have seen up to 14 people on one of this outside Chalong police station. 

ThorFinger | 22 February 2022 - 13:41:02

It was a disaster just waiting to happen. 

ThorFinger | 22 February 2022 - 13:39:53

555 oh, no fun. For once the police have done the right thing. We've been sniggering for the last month about how many people are going to be going to hospital from scooter accidents when the traffic returns to normal. You can't have anything like this until you teach the Thai people how to drive and drive safely and responsibly and without pulling a gun out of the glove box when offended.

phkt-2016 | 22 February 2022 - 12:51:14

simple question why are they not charging the operator of the electric mini scooters?

Fascinated | 22 February 2022 - 12:47:24

Another 'Farang Tax'- I see the 100% helmet campaign is going well in Kamala- 100% of tourists now cover up, whilst 100% of Thais don't! Kids under 18 on the roads are far more dangerous racing around uncontrolled than the scooters but there's no money in that until time to pay for the inevitable crash. Lets stop scooters racing up and down the sidewalk in front of the Kamala Cemet...


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