Kata Rocks

Sleeping Phuket taxi driver legal, official confirms

PHUKET: Officials have confirmed that the driver of a Phuket taxi who fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the pillar of a pedestrian footbridge on Thepkrasattri Rd on Monday morning, injuring himself and his two Chinese tourist passengers, was not the registered owner of the vehicle but was legally driving the vehicle.

By Yutthawat Lekmak

Saturday 25 February 2017, 09:00AM

Taxi driver Theerapol Seewan, 31, slammed into the footbridge pillar after falling asleep at the wheel. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Taxi driver Theerapol Seewan, 31, slammed into the footbridge pillar after falling asleep at the wheel. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Lt Sunan Petchnoo of the Thalang Police was informed of the accident, in front of Muang Thalang School on Thepkrasattri Rd northbound, at 4am on Monday.

Police arrived at the scene with Kusoldharm rescue workers to find a gold-coloured “green-plate*” Toyota Altis taxi smashed into the base of a footbridge pillar.

Three injured people were still at the scene when police arrived. They were named as taxi driver Theerapol Seewan, 31, from Prachinburi, and his two passengers, Chinese tourists Mr Ruan Huiqiang, 22, who had suffered injures to his chest and Miss Ying Leyan, 22, who suffered injuries to her head.

All three were taken to Thalang Hospital for treatment. (See story here.)

However, the driver named in the police report, Mr Theerapol, was not the same person named on the registered taxi, as required by law.

The name on the taxi was Tammarong Chuwyoaksr.

As per laws introduced in 2012, the name of the registered owner of the vehicle must be shown on the vehicle. The name must be shown along with the complaints hotline number 1584.

“The registered owner of the taxi should not lend the vehicle to other people unless the other driver has a Type 4 Driver’s Licence. This is because if they do not have a Type 4 licence any insurance on that vehicle will be invalid,” Chutinan Jindachoue, chief of the Driving Licence Department at the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), told The Phuket News this week.

“However, it is fine for the registered owner to lend the car to someone with the necessary Type 4 licence,” she added.

“Having brought this to our attention, we have checked the details of Mr Theerapol’s driver’s licence and we confirm that it is Type 4,” Ms Chutinan added.

Meanwhile, Lt Sunan of the Thalang Police confirmed to The Phuket News that the insurance on the vehicle covered all medical costs incurred by Mr Ruan and Miss Ying.

“The insurance on the vehicle has covered the treatment costs of Mr Theerapol and the two passengers he was carrying at the time of the accident,” he said.

Lt Sunan also confirmed that Mr Theerapol had been charged with reckless driving causing injury.


*A registered commercial passenger vehicle.



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Kurt | 26 February 2017 - 17:16:02

CaptainJack69:  You hit the nail on the head!
But thai make nice laws and rules for nothing.
They look at it and say..." This is fine"..  Than forget it.
Than on paper all is fine. Just thai paper tiger stuff.
Not really ment for working operational.
It is here everywhere in every corner.

And, all have loopholes, for understanding and more understanding ( brown envelop wise)

CaptainJack69 | 26 February 2017 - 02:40:50

This is not a surprise. It's common knowledge that taxi drivers share cars, often leasing them in groups from the guy who actually owns them, who himself never drives them.

So the question is this, what exactly is the point of having the name of the "registered owner" written on the car if that's not going to be the guy driving it? I mean the highways authority have the names ...

Kurt | 25 February 2017 - 11:48:55

That a 84 year old tuk tuk driver drives into a police check point at Kathu, Voila!
But a 31 year old taxi driver falls asleep during a short trip driving passengers, that is scary.

Well, we read that al paperwork is ok, Insurance pays ( of course!)
But a 31 year old, driving a taxi with passengers, falling a sleep during a short trip, causing a dangerous road situation, should get a extensiv...

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