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Phuket officials target motorbike rental operators to improve road safety


Phuket officials will inspect motorbike rental shops as part of new measures aimed at reducing deaths and injuries on the island’s roads. The Phuket News reports that the measures were confirmed at a meeting chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Anupap Rodkwan Yodrabam on Monday, May 8.

Almost on a weekly basis there is some foreigner calling for financial assistance on a GoFundMe page following a motorbike incident in Phuket. Without the rider having a proper Thai motorbike license, the insurance companies refuse to pay any hospital bills.

The meeting was also attended by Adcha Buachan, chief of the Phuket Land Transport Office, along with senior-ranking police officers and representatives of other relevant agencies. Attendees discussed and drafted guidelines aimed at controlling rental motorbikes on the island, with an emphasis on safety.

According to the Phuket News report, the upshot of the meeting was the decision to create a dedicated taskforce to oversee a database of all vehicle rental operators on the island. Operators are to be informed of the new measures aimed at improving road safety and may face ad-hoc inspections, according to the official notes from the meeting.

In addition, officials discussed Phuket’s “100% helmet” policy, designed to encourage all motorbike riders to wear a helmet. However, it was not made clear how motorbike rental shops can be held responsible for customers not wearing helmets after they’ve left the shop.

In truth, however, the helmet issue is just a small part of the problem. Rental shops are just renting out their bikes without any insurance coverage for the riders, and no warnings about the problems riders could face if they have an accident.

“If Thai people wear helmets near 100%, it will reduce deaths by 6,984 people per year (nationwide). If this can be done, controlling, and organising motorcycles for rent in the Phuket area more efficiently will produce tangible results.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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