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Phuket Opinion: You have our full support

PHUKET: Since our inception in 2011 The Phuket News has seen many governors come and go. Each of them land on the island proclaiming they have a mission – to fix the island’s problems once and for all.

opiniontransportaccidentsdeathculturepolicetourism
By The Phuket News

Sunday 28 May 2017, 09:00AM


The remains of the Kawasaki Ninja motorbike after the high-speed collision on Kwang Rd, Chalong, on Monday (May 23). Photo:

The remains of the Kawasaki Ninja motorbike after the high-speed collision on Kwang Rd, Chalong, on Monday (May 23). Photo:

Each of these governors set their sights on what they see as the island’s most-pressing problems, whether it’s the taxi mafia, waste disposal or illegal hotels. All good problems to fix, but not really ones that make international headlines.

But perhaps Phuket’s biggest problem – one which no governor has really attempted to solve but which regularly makes headlines around the world – is the daily carnage on our roads. We have seen some governors ramp up helmet safety campaigns, but never has a governor come out and spoken directly about the recklessness of so many drivers here in Phuket.

Many readers would surely agree that reckless driving is a leading cause or road deaths on the island. Most readers would also agree that it is a result of lax or wrong-headed enforcement of the traffic laws by police.

There are nationwide campaigns, albeit usually at Songkran or New Year, aimed at making Thailand’s roads safer, but once these campaigns are over it’s back to more of the same. More recklessness, more lives lost. There has never been a local campaign to improve how safe local drivers are or traffic law enforcement and it’s not as though the problem could have escaped the governor’s attention.

Splash Beach Club

Last week’s editorial highlighted how the world watches Phuket and you can rest assured that the world also watches when it comes to this issue. If current Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodtong really wants to give the world something to see, now is the time to make a stand.

The latest road death, involving a 20-year-old Kawasaki Ninja rider, is a case in point. It appears that both parties in the accident were behaving recklessly, surely knowing they had little to fear from the police, who are ostensibly responsible for enforcing traffic laws.

Gov Norraphat should come out and make it clear that this recklessness can no longer continue. If he does, he can be assured that The Phuket News, and the whole of Class Act Media, will support a plan to make a change. We are fed up with reporting road deaths on a daily basis from accidents that could so easily be avoided.

 

 

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Kurt | 29 May 2017 - 13:13:44

As usual, a well thought balanced piece of Opinion of PN.
( Sometimes I envy the way PN can express it so well)

Newspapers/journalists, it is their work/job to put the finger on issues.
Analyse, criticize, suggest solutions to solve problems.
It is NOT a Newspaper job to do what a Government suppose to do, and is not doing even when it is so clear that the Government fails in doing.
A newsp...

Rorri | 29 May 2017 - 12:30:36

Jor12, chapter 4 of what publication? If, in fact, it actually exists. Let us ALL know what you are on about.

Sir Burr | 29 May 2017 - 05:46:30

Yes, governors are non-elected and have a maximum tenure of two years. This is to discourage governors becoming corrupt. Can a locally elected governor be trusted not to enact policy to benefit his own, or his cronies businesses? Or, be influenced by "dark forces"? I don't think so. Until corruption by high up officials is punished by jail time, which certainly won't happen in my...

Jor12 | 29 May 2017 - 00:55:08

Excellent point Stegee. Numerous studies have been conducted as to ways to minimise road accidents/deaths. One excellent piece of research is from the World Health Organisation, particularly Chapter 4. 

Rather than be reactive, PN should be proactive in acting as a conduit for change and suggest common sense methods based on research, rather than conduct silly polls or publish the nonsensical c...

Werni | 28 May 2017 - 20:05:44

In Thailand governors are not elected, but appointed. They are not locals and therefore, do not really care about the problems in the location they have been appointed as governors. Consequently, nothing will ever happen.

stegee | 28 May 2017 - 17:27:56

"The Phuket News, and the whole of Class Act Media, will support a plan to make a change."
 so what should the plan be??

malczx7r | 28 May 2017 - 16:06:47

Well written and exactly true, maybe you have more influence than us expats so maybe you can get a Thai person to write it up and send it to the governor!

BenPendejo | 28 May 2017 - 12:38:40

Here here PN!  I am of the opinion that the only things these reckless people are going to pay any attention to is money.  Stiff fines for reckless driving, and confiscate the vehicle until the fines are paid.  I was just talking about this issue with the owner of a local restaurant, and we agreed on the root cause being an impotent police force.  Locals have no respect for police at all, and that...

Rorii | 28 May 2017 - 11:15:20

It will be interesting to see if any member of the \"muffet\" gang disagree with this article, as they seem to disagree when us mere mortals say the same thing.

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