Friday, May 10, 2013

Thailand: Kazakhstani, 22, Another Fatality from Inexperience on Rented Motorcycles, No Helmet Worn

I have made my position clearly known over the years, regarding Thailand's lack of road safety regulations and particularly traffic enforcement as to who can rent a motorcycle or motorbike with no experience.

This lack of responsible life-safety on the part of the Thai government that prides itself in being a major tourist destination is unacceptable, given the fact that each week perhaps hundreds of foreign visitors to Phuket and other Thai destinations rent motorcycles and motorbikes that they have never operated in their lives.

Yesterday (May 9), at approximately 0130 hours, a 22-year-old Kazakhstani tourist was killed instantly when his helmet-less head struck pavement in Patong [a section of Phuket], as he fell from his motorcycle. 

The crash occurred as the tourist turned at the intersection of Soi Nat Patong and Thaweewong Road. When his black-bronze rented Yamaha hit water, he tumbled off and struck his unprotected head very hard, killing him instantly.

The tourist's death is the latest in a string of deaths of expat motorcyclists that have mostly involved riders losing control on curves or bends. An unusually high proportion of deaths on Phuket roadways involving young visitors or residents who are seriously injured or killed in two-wheeled motorized vehicular accidents, most of which are single-vehicle collisions.

COMMENT: Now, here's the interesting part: Thai officials in Phuket stopped releasing reports on two-wheeled, motorized vehicular accidents throughout the entirety of 2012 and during the first four months of 2013. Perhaps because the reports flagged a scandal in the making?

The question is: Why is this happening? Obviously, because of the irresponsible rental of two-wheeled, motorized vehicles who have never driven such vehicles, all in the interest of making a profit from tourists who don't fully understand the high fatality rate drivers sustain every year, many of whom have never been licensed to operate a two-wheeled motorized vehicle.

We have a number of pressing questions that need to be posed to the Thai government:

1. Why are two-wheeled, motorized vehicles rented to tourists who have never been licensed to operate such vehicles?

2. Why does the Royal Thai Police not use breathalyzer tests to measure the alcohol level of the operators of two-wheeled, motorized vehicles?

3. Why does the Royal Thai Police not inspect the operators of  two-wheeled, motorized vehicles to determine if they possess an operator's permit for such vehicles?

4. Why do Thai legislators fail to enact laws requiring that all persons operating a two-wheeled, motorized vehicle must wear a prescribed helmet?
Kazakhstan, officially known as the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a country in Central Asia. Kazakhstan is the world's largest landlocked country by land area and the ninth largest country in the world; its territory of 2,727,300 square kilometers (1,053,000 sq mi) is larger than Western Europe. It is neighbored clockwise from the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, and also borders on a large part of the Caspian Sea. 

Sadly, some foreign tourists who visit Thailand return to their homeland in the cargo compartment of an airliner, never to return to the Land of Smiles. On their flight to Thailand, they might never have imagined that their return flight would be so somber or lacking in gaiety.