Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Phuket Opinion: Safer drivers on the horizon

Phuket Opinion: Safer drivers on the horizon

PHUKET: The impending introduction of the demerit points system for people with driver’s licences marks Thailand on the cusp of something great. It’s not the point system itself, it’s the fact that there will be a system in place which will automatically invalidate a driver’s licence once too many penalty points have been accrued.

opiniontransportaccidentsSafetypolice
By The Phuket News

Sunday 8 December 2019, 09:00AM


A Traffic Police officer checks a driver's licence in Patong. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

A Traffic Police officer checks a driver's licence in Patong. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

Why is this so important? Because it breeds an understanding that a driver’s licence is a valuable privilege – and this on an island where there are next to no real public transport options.

The attitude of drivers in Phuket towards traffic laws is so appalling that just during the Seven Days of Danger road-safety campaign during Songkran in April this year, 1,092 people were fined for not wearing seatbelts, 328 were fined for speeding, 471 were fined for ignoring traffic signals, 533 were fined for ghost driving (driving opposite traffic flow), 325 were fined for dangerously cutting off other motorists in traffic, 472 were fined for using mobile phones while driving and 501 people were arrested for drunk driving during the period.

Yet those numbers pale in comparison to the 4,566 people fined for driving without a licence. That’s in only seven days, and during a period when everyone knew that the police were out on the streets to actually enforce traffic laws. The only moving violation that topped that was 6,955 people on motorbikes fined for not wearing crash helmets.

People just don’t care about being caught without a driver’s licence, and why should they? The fine is up to one month in prison or a fine of up to B1,000, or both – but never fully enforced unless the driver is involved in a major accident. Now it stands to become up to three months in jail or a fine of up to B10,000, or both, though The Phuket News would like to see an option of converting jail terms to community service, to keep our overcrowded prison free from misdemeanour offenders and for those convicted to genuinely help the community.

Thanyapura Health 360

Will the new penalty stop people paying their way out of fines? No. Nothing stops a bribe – or extortion – at the scene of the crime without the intervention of a third party, just like anywhere else in the world. But the new penalty will force the price higher with each infringement, and the last thing anyone would want in Phuket, or anywhere in Thailand, is to owe someone in uniform a favour.

With the new penalty there is hope for true road safety just over the horizon. Now there’s just one more thing left make the roads safer: actual driver training before a licence is issued in the first place.

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 09 December 2019 - 12:15:25

Yes, it is a big joke. The only 'enforcement' will some day happening during one of the famous thai 7 days of danger campaigns. Just for face. And don't be surprised if it will be not a thai person who gets a big fine. From a thai frock you can't pluck feathers, right?

Concerned | 09 December 2019 - 07:56:39

It seems like; an overall attitude “driving rules are here to be ignored “

seht1912 | 08 December 2019 - 19:28:09

This is a joke right?

CaptainJack69 | 08 December 2019 - 12:34:18

You're along the right lines on both points. This is a step towards the sorely absent enforcement of traffic laws but it isn't actual enforcement. People don't care because the consequences are little (500B fine) or nothing (no enforcement). The lack of driver training is of course a big problem, but if laws are enforced then people will WANT to be trained how to drive properly.

goldwing | 08 December 2019 - 11:01:17

This will not make the slightest difference, the key word is "enforcement" and that is sadly lacking with an ineffective police force

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
New bribe details on 2018, 2022 World Cup votes as execs charged

Pascale, on this we agree, had been for decades, but nothing has been done....(Read More)


Mains water supply outage in Rawai and Karon

Jor12, oops today you are Padcale "The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until work ...(Read More)


Phuket Songkran allowed, but stay in your subdistrict, says Governor

What! Can you Fact Check this please. This makes absolutely no sense. They close the airport, clo...(Read More)


Ban on all international flights to Thailand extended

The facts are - as per the article - is that scheduled flights have been stopped by the CAAT, but th...(Read More)


Phuket Governor order warns of B20k fine for not wearing mask in public

How about a 20K THB fine for not wearing a crash helmet, RTP seem very keen on enforcing the dumb ma...(Read More)


Phuket Governor order warns of B20k fine for not wearing mask in public

Shwe maybe you could travel over to the governor's office and offer up your superior expertise.....(Read More)


Mains water supply outage in Rawai and Karon

@CaptJack69, I doubt you are in a position to know about the necessity to carry out the work. Just s...(Read More)


Ban on all international flights to Thailand extended

@Shwe. If you know the facts,why you even asked ?...(Read More)