Sunday, March 3, 2013

Thailand: Another Foreign Motorcyclist Killed in Phuket, Failure to Manuever Descending Hill, Curve

According to Phuketwan, a solo foreign motorcyclist from Europe, 41, was killed while descending Patong Hill in the direction of Phuket City. 

The rider appeared to miss the curve and crashed into an ascending vehicle above the Patong Hill shooting gallery about 2000 hours on Saturday night (March 2).

Considering that next-of-kin have not yet been notified, the victim's identity has not been disclosed.

At this stage in the investigation, it has not been confirmed as to whether the rider was wearing a protective helmet or not.

COMMENT: After the countless motorcycle/motorbike "accidents" that have been covered at this site in recent years, it appears as if the statement made this week by Phuket's governor, Maitree Inthusut, that only 10% of foreigners killed in Phuket were from traffic accidents, suggests that the governor was provided skewed data.

Another "clue" that Thai road accident statistics may not be entirely accurate stems from the fact that Phuket's Public Health Department, after years of disseminating the statistics of accidents amongst tourists, ceased announcing such data in April 2012. 
 
Two months into 2013, there have been no figures released as regards traffic accidents and drownings by tourists, not to mention the fact that the last statistical data released to the public was in 2011. Interesting, huh?

When one compares the number of foreign nationals injured or killed in Phuket, as released by those embassies that regularly report such information [not all do], the Thai data seems to be very suspect, all in the interest of preventing an adverse impact on foreign tourism.

Phuket's apparent reluctance to provide the figures is clearly at odds with the stated intention of local administrators and health authorities to combat the needless loss of life of residents and tourists alike.

If Thai officials cannot be expected to report accurate data as it relates to foreign visitors and expats injured and killed in Thailand, then perhaps it is time for ALL embassies represented in Bangkok to begin releasing accurate victimization on their on-line websites so that their citizens can know what they're really up against.

Additionally, it may also be time for foreign embassies to disseminate "candid and accurate" travel advisories so that foreign visitors can make a wise choice as to whether the personal risks in Phuket are worth making the trip.

As a side note, tourists to Phuket have righfully asserted for years that the high toll of the injured and dead amongst foreigners is a direct result of the mafia-like motorbike industry obstructing the establishment of safe, ground transportation throughout Phuket, as many visitors are FORCED to use motobikes because there is no reasonably-priced way of getting around.   

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.