Saturday, October 18, 2014

Thailand: Authorities Are Co-Conspirators in Rising Death Toll from 2-Wheeled Motorized Accidents

According to Phuketwana South African tourist, 51, is dead hours after arriving on the island of Phuket after crashing into an electric power pole on a rented motorcycle earlier in the day.

The South African lost a great deal of blood from a head wound and died after being taken to Patong Hospital by paramedics.

The single-vehicle accident occurred at 0935 hours when the operator lost control outside Kata Gardens, on the road to Kata and Kata Noi.

COMMENT: At the moment, STAYING SAFE ABROAD registers 1,000 hits a day for a projected annual rate of 365,000 hits annually X the five years we have been issuing daily postings for a grand total of 1,825,000 hits, 60% of which are registered in countries other than the US.

Since 2009, when I began the below link, I have seemingly been unsuccessful in convincing Thai authorities to institute vigorous regulations concerning the rental of two-wheeled motorbikes and motorcycles:

Having failed in convincing the Thai government to institute vigorous regulations relating to the rental of two-wheeled motorized vehicles, I have no choice, but to do whatever I can to prevent the human carnage of foreign travelers who visit Thailand, many of whom return to their home country in the cargo compartment of a jetliner.

The action I am now forced to take is to DISCOURAGE all travel to Thailand until the rental of two-wheeled motorized vehicles are brought into line with high-volume tourist destinations, particularly considering that the Thai government ceased documenting the deaths of foreigners in April 2012.

Effective Sunday (October 19), I will issue a travel warning on a WEEKLY basis until such time as that Thai government institutes reasonable regulations re: the rental of two-wheeled vehicles and making alternative forms of transportation available to visitors to Phuket:

a. 24/7 bus transport throughout Phuket every half-hour on the hour that can accommodate up to 24 passengers;

b. Fee-based transport to and from the Phuket International Airport every half-hour on the hour;

c. Promulgation of  a traffic regulation that requires that all renters of two-wheeled motorized vehicles produce a copy of their valid license for duplication by the rental agency so that police can conduct periodic audits;

d. All two-wheeled motorized vehicles will be issued a protective helmet requiring that the make, model and serial number of the helmet be recorded by rental companies;

e. The establishment of a police regulation mandating that the Royal Thai Police in Phuket establish breathalyzer checkpoints of sufficient frequency that no operator of a two-wheeled vehicle exceeds the BA level of 0.05:

f. Requiring that all renters of motorbike and motorcycles be fully insured for third-party liability and comprehensive coverage. 

The South African fatality who died in a single-vehicle accident in Phuket on October 18 local time was NOT wearing a helmet when he struck the electrical pole.

It is unknown as to whether the South African actually had a license to operate a two-wheeled motorcycle in Thailand, yet given the complacency of the Thai government, we'll consider that a "NO."

Updated monthly figures on Phuket's road toll have not been issued since April, 2012, when local officials stopped releasing them, largely because they were so voluminous and less than complimentary of the Thai government.

My first WEEKLY travel warning that foreign travelers AVOID Thailand will be issued tomorrow, October 19, 2014.

Unrelated to the increasing number of two-wheeled motorized accidents involving foreign fatalities, please see the below links relative to the September 15, 2014 double-homicide of British citizens David Miller, 24, and Hannah Witheridge, 23, an investigation that revealed the vulnerability of Thai authorities to competently complete complex criminal investigations:

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