Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thailand: If You Have No Experience in Riding 2-Wheeled Motorized Vehicles, Don't Rent Them!

According to The Phuket Gazette, a French tourist, Natasya Kotnarovsky, 27, sustained minor injuries to her left leg and scratches all over her body earlier today local time (September 7) when she crashed through the storefront window of a beauty salon in Phuket.

EMTs from the Kusoldharm Foundation were called to the scene on Phang Nga Road by the shaken salon owner after Ms. Kotnarovsky and her German companion, Keno Feldmuller Gennant Kuhlmann, had just rented two motorbikes from Baifern Motors, located on the same street as the beauty salon, Sakda Saejiew, owner of the motorbike rental firm.

COMMENT: My general guidance is if one foreign tourist is familiar with two-wheel motorized vehicles and one has NOT, my general suggestion is that the novice ride tandem if that is possible.

If the only option is for the tourists to rent or NOT rent, my suggestion is for both tourists to take a taxi regardless of cost, rather than placing the novice rider in a high-risk situation.

Although Thailand has many strengths and pluses, most motorbike and motorcycle rental companies have NO legal restrictions and will rent a two-wheeled motorized vehicle to ANYONE regardless of their SKILL level! 

Also, consider these little details: Who is going to pay for the replacement of the beauty salon storefront window? Very likely Natasya Kotnarovsky.

I also strongly recommend that all foreign travelers purchase international medical treatment and medical evacuation coverage, including repatriation of their remains if they among the thousands of foreigners who die abroad each year. See http://www.insuremytrip.com.

The German rider was ahead of the Frenchwoman and approached a u-turn in front of the salon when it was clear that the woman had lost control of the motorbike and drove through the salon window.

Sakda told THE PHUKET GAZETTE that he believed that Kotnarovsky had little to no experience in operating motorbikes.

I warned them to drive carefully and slowly before they left," Sakda said, "I think theory just opened the throttle too hard and lost control."

Rescue workers transported Kotnarovsky to Phuket International Hospital for treatment.

It should be noted that Thailand has few to non-existent traffic regulations for foreign tourists which essentially means that police "collect the injured and dead and make them disappear."