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Phuket governor sets his sights on cutting the island’s road toll

FILE PHOTO: Facebook/Nicky Phuket Tour

Another governor, another plan… The recently installed Phuket governor says he wants to reduce the number of people killed on the island’s roads from an average of 135 a year to 110 or fewer. Sophon Suwannarat made the pledge after a road safety meeting yesterday without any specific details on he might achieve the goal.

The governor was in attendance at a meeting of the Phuket Road Safety Operation Committee, which took place in City Hall. At the meeting, it was agreed (again) that the island will enact stricter measures to tackle the number of road accidents and resulting deaths.

Road safety campaigns in the past have focussed on additional checkpoints around the island where police can routinely be seen scrolling on their phone – that’s about it.

Between 2017 and 2022, Phuket recorded an average of 135 road accident fatalities per year, equal to around 11 a month. Governor Sophon says that between January and November 13 this year, there have been 141 deaths reported, up by 26 on last year’s figures. An astonishing 18,600 road incidents have been recorded on the island so far this year..

Phuket aims (once again) to reduce those figures, through policies aimed at improving road safety for all road users, including pedestrians. According to Sophon, Phuket will strictly adhere to the 2022 – 2027 Road Safety Master Plan.

There’s talk (again) of regulating car rental businesses and enforcing the laws around car and bike renters having valid licences and motorbike users wearing helmets.

The governor adds that car rental operations are not permitted to keep their customers’ passports and can only rent out cars that are roadworthy, legally registered, and with valid third-party insurance.

The governor says that from next year, he aims to reduce Phuket’s road accident fatalities to 22.57 per 100,000 of the population. Statistically, the vast majority of road incidents involve motorcycles, males between 18 – 24 years of age, drink driving and speeding.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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