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Foreign tourists in Phuket involved in over 500 motorbike accidents in 2 months


Officials in Phuket say foreign tourists were involved in over 500 motorbike accidents on the island in the last 2 months alone. According to a Phuket Express report, the information was discussed at a meeting led by Phuket Vice Governor Arnuparb Rodkhwan Yodrabam yesterday.

“Many accidents recently have involved foreign motorbike riders. In most of the accidents, the foreign tourists have rented motorbikes. 80% of them do not have driving licences, some were wearing swim suits, driving at high speed, and not familiar with routes. In January and February, there were more than 500 accidents involving foreign tourists.”

Motorbike companies renting bikes to tourists who don’t have a bike licence is an ongoing issue on the island, according to the authorities. The Phuket Tourist Police have issued reminders to rental companies in the past that anyone renting a motorbike must have a licence that is specifically valid for driving a motorbike – a car-only licence doesn’t cut it.

The island has also seen a spate of incidents involving some foreign tourists indulging in anti-social behaviour on motorbikes, including late-night noisy driving and road racing. The issue came to a head recently when a French tourist on a motorbike was involved in a hit-and-run incident in which a Thai woman was seriously injured.

Vice-Governor Arnuparb says the authorities will continue their efforts to educate both rental companies and tourists.

“We are trying to solve consistent problems about motorbike rental businesses renting to tourists without proper documentation to prevent road accidents and motorbike racers.”

SOURCE: The Phuket Express

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