Phuket opens free car check centre

Phuket opens free car check centreOn 10th April 2014 at the Phuket Checkpoint at Mai Khao, Thalang District Chief Officer – Khun Supoj Chanakij presided over the opening of Thalang Technical College’s Car and Motorcycle Checking Service Centre which will be available to use throughout the 2014 for Songkran Festival by. The opening was also attended by OrBorTor Mai Khao and Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office.

Director of Thalang Technical College – Suthep Yongyut said “We have organized this project which sees college student’s checking cars and motorcycles for roadworthiness during the New Year Festival and Songkran Festival since 2008. We are able to do so with budget support from public service organizations. We hope that by doing so we will help prevent and reduce accidents on the roads, as per the government’s policy.

The project will run from today until 17th April 2014 and operation hours are 08.30 – 00.30 hrs.

Phuket opens Songkran Accident Prevention Centre

Phuket opens Songkran Accident Prevention CentreOn 9th April 2014 at Rassada Port, Phuket Governor – Maitree Intusut presided over the opening of a special centre which aims to prevent and reduce road and marine accidents over the Songkran Festival 2014 period. Also in attendance at the opening were Phuket Vice Governor – Jamroen Thippayapongthada, Chief of the Phuket Office of Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation – San Jantarawong, Phuket Marine Office Director – Puripat Teerakulpisut, Heads of Government agencies, Phuket Marine Police and local media.

Khun Maitree said “The aim of opening this operations center is to prevent and reduce marine and road accidents during the 2014 Songkran Festival. It is also here to enhance the security of everyone in Phuket during this period. It is hoped that during our 7 day campaign that both marine and road accidents will remain at zero.”

Along with the centre, the police will be implementing 10 measures to ensure there are no accidents and that everyone is safe:

1. 12 checkpoints in the 3 districts
2. Sheriffs will be in direct command
3. Police checks to increase by 20%
4. Use of technology at 4 critical speed points
5. Rescue teams to turn on lights at high risk areas
6. Public bus drivers to be breathalysed
7. Inspection of tour buses
8. Additional police officers
9. 100% alcohol-free zoned Songkran play areas
10. Legislations to control alcohol

With regards to the prevention and reduction in marine accidents, both the Third Naval Area and Phuket Marine Police have been assigned to the Office of Phuket Port to ensure all security measures are in place to take care of the incoming and outgoing boats at the piers. Boats will be checked to ensure they are not carrying excess weight and that all people on board are wearing a life jacket. They will also provide regular officers to be on-hand at all Phuket’s piers 24 hours a day.

Phuket Opinion: Speed Cameras – For What Purpose?

Phuket Opinion: Speed Cameras – For What Purpose?  It has recently been announced that Phuket will soon see the introduction of the island’s very first speed cameras, albeit only four.

I don’t think anybody can dispute that speed cameras are required here, and that there are hundreds of locations around the island that would benefit from them. However, one has to wonder the reason why they are being introduced. According to news reports their main purpose is to reduce road traffic accidents and increase awareness of speed limits. However, from reports in the UK, speed cameras are far more financially beneficial than for safety and many people now question their main purpose, and perhaps it would have been better for the person responsible for the statement to say that along with road safety they are actually for financial gain.

I’m sure most drivers here have better things to do than hand over their money for speeding fines to municipalities to help fix a hole in the budget due to the mismanagement of funds. However, I personally think the introduction of speed cameras to Phuket plan aren’t such a bad thing. Putting aside the fact of how much money can be gained from the cameras, in 2008 in London alone speed camera fines worth 313,293,000 THB were collected, I actually think that these cameras can be beneficial to drivers in an urban setting like Phuket.

If cameras are placed in densely populated areas, it makes sense to have them there. Keeping your vehicle moving at a constant speed is better for fuel economy and traffic jam reduction. If implemented properly, the cameras combined with the proper timing of traffic lights, could legitimately ease congestion and serve to move traffic along at a more consistent pace.

Furthermore, if cameras are located near schools and public areas, they will actually make a positive impact on public safety.
For most drivers, speeding from A to B is the best use of a driver’s time behind the wheel of a vehicle, but an urban location like Phuket is not the place for it.

From the money raised from the cameras please introduce more and in addition also add red light cameras at traffic lights, I’m sure an equal amount of money will be made from these, and perhaps people will gradually learn to drive by the rules of law and the amount of road accidents and fatalities will soon reduce.

Phuket’s Super Cheap Awaits Insurance Companies Visits

Phuket’s Super Cheap Awaits Insurance Companies VisitsPPAO Council Members – Mr Kantapat Pisitkunanon recently announced that after speaking to Super Cheap’s main branch manager, representatives from the business’ two insurance companies, one from the USA and the other from Korea, are likely to visit the site next week to survey and assess the damage from the fire which happened on 16th October 2013. From his past experience he said that the insurance companies need to receive stored date from the store and evaluate the damage within a month of the event, if this is not done then it will be unlikely that the company will be able to do anything.

Khun kantapat added ”If we leave the site as it is for a month or longer then there will be a stench from rotten food and goods which may not be safe for the local community. Therefore it is essential that coordination between the store’s owners and insurance companies are accelerated so that the site can be completely cleared and any unhygienic matters can be removed to save the environment.”

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fire

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fireOn October 19th 2013 in the meeting room of Phuket Provincial Hall, PPAO Chief Executive Officer – Mr. Paiboon Upattising, Chairman of PPAO Council – Mr. Pradit Sangjan, PPAO Council Members – Mr Kanthapat Pisitkunanon, Mr. Somkit Suparp and Mr. Opas Chopdi, Head of PPAO Engineering Department – Mrs. Wassana Sriwilai, and other government sectors, joined a meeting with Phuket Governor Mr. Maitri Inthusut to review a plan of action in the aftermath of the Supercheap fire. After the meeting, Mr. Paiboon led his team to inspect the site and donated 50 pairs of rubber boots and 50 garden forks to volunteers helping with the site clearance. He also visited the PPAO-supported temporary market stalls at the “Talad Supercheap Fair.”

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap firePPAO Council Member for Tambon Rassada – Mr Kanthapat Pisitkunanon said “As well as donating rubber boots and garden forks to make the task of clearing the site easier for the volunteers, PPAO has also assisted in setting up temporary market stalls to support the store, and has also provided fire and water trucks, and machinery for site clearance. PPAO officials and staff, together with volunteers, have worked extremely hard and I expect the situation to improve dramatically very soon. As a result of our meeting with officials from the Phuket Provincial Office and other sectors, we have changed our plan of actions somewhat and have managed to get rid of a lot of the still-burning rubble, thereby eliminating a large amount of smoke and pollution. We worked with other sectors to use the machinery in hard-to-reach areas, and we have cooperated with the offices of forensics, insurance, police and local administration offices, and officials from the Phuket provincial office, among others. We have a work meeting every day at 8am at Phuket Provincial Hall to continue our operation until the situation is completely under control.”

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fireMr. Paiboon added: “I would like to thank our area officers who have helped out here since the fire first broke out. PPAO deployed all our staff on the first night with the aim to extinguishing the fire as soon as possible.  I would also like to thank Phuket Province, local administration offices, all municipalities and every Or Bor Tor who sent in fire trucks. At present, we are working on various problems like pollution, wastewater, and unemployment of Supercheap staff. For the latter, we have provided tents and set up temporary market stalls so staff can continue to work and Supercheap can still serve the public. This will help to solve some of the immediate problems. I also thank everyone who gave support, especially to those who brought food for our volunteers, enabling us to complete our operations as best we could considering the circumstances.”

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fire

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fire

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fire

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fire

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fire

Phuket sectors working together to resolve Supercheap fire

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap DisasterOn October 17, 2013, PPAO Chief Executive Officer – Mr. Paiboon Upattising,, led an emergency team to assess the aftermath of the fire at Supercheap Store on Thepkasattri road. Since the fire broke out the night before (at 21.30 hrs, on October 16), PPAO officials and their emergency team have been working hard to assist in any way they can. Participants in the emergency team included Chief Secretary of PPAO – Mr. Winit Hongatikul, PPAO Council Members – Mr. Somkit Suphap and Mr. Chusak Sematrakul, Head of PPAO Engineering – Mrs Wassana Sriwilai, Head of PPAO Public Safety and Environment – Mr. Parinya Jariyahatthakit, Head of PPAO Machinery – Mr. Thanong Uthsaya, Head of PPAO Construction and Repair, officers from PPAO Mechanics Department, officials from PPAO Tourist Support Department, along with officials from various other government offices.

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap DisasterAt the site of the fire Mr. Paiboon revealed that as soon as the news reached PPAO the office sent emergency vans and water trucks to the site. The fire area was still off limits but from a rough assessment they could tell financial loss would be great. With regards to personal injuries, it would become clearer after forensic experts and the insurance company has conducted investigations, after which PPAO will send in backhoes and heavy machinery to clear the area of debris. Mr. Paiboon thanked Phuket provincial authorities for leading the assistance work. He also extended his thanks to Rassada Municipality, Tambon Administration Offices from every area, and local PPAO Council members, who have all lent a hand since the start of the fire through until it had been successfully put out. He also thanked the local people who donated food and water and given moral support. Thanks also went to provincial police who helped with directing traffic, to the Navy who brought in trucks and fire trucks, the Mechanics Department of PPAO who brought in all machinery. Finally, he thanked other sectors involved whom he thought were truly committed in their attempts to quell this emergency.

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster Mr. Somkit Supharp and Mr. Chusak Sematrakul, both PPAO Council members, said that they were proud to see all government offices like the local administration offices, and especially PPAO, all participating with emergency assistance. The fire, they said, would affect the Phuket community in general as Supercheap services many sectors such as business operators and consumers and nearby communities. PPAO always takes the interest of the public seriously and that was why it deployed all machinery available to help put out the fire. The assistance would continue, they said. With regards to the damage, financial loss would be great although initially at least no injuries or dead were reported. Further investigations would be conducted by all offices concerned.

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket PAO Sends Team to Assist SuperCheap Disaster

Phuket’s Super Cheap burnt to the ground

Phuket’s Super Cheap burnt to the groundMore than 50 fire trucks were called upon to tackle a blaze at the main Super Cheap on Thepkasattri Road at around 21.30 hrs last night, 16th October 2013. It took until at least 03.00 hrs to get the enormous fire under control, with flames spreading due to the huge amount of extractor fans in the tin buildings. It is believed a number of surrounding properties and business were also damaged by the fire which has completely burnt the popular outlet literally to the ground.

From initial checks by the fire department the entire 30 rai of warehouse has been completely destroyed. In addition, it is still unknown how many properties in the vicinity have been damaged and it may take a couple of days for them to really know the true extent of the damage. It is understood that the damage will go into several hundreds of millions of baht.

Phuket has set up centers to assist those who have suffered from the fire and where those who believe someone has been lost in the fire can report their concerns: Phuket City Hall phone number 076-212047.

Phuket School holds Safety Drive Project

Phuket School holds Safety Drive ProjectOn July 27th 2013 at the “Ban Cheun” meeting room of PPAO Muang Phuket School, Rawai, Director of PPAO Muang Phuket School – Mr.Viroj Tuntiviriyaporn presided over a “Safety Drive” Project for 173 grade 3-6 students.

Due to the number of road accidents in Phuket, many of wish result in the loss of life and property, it is important that people understand that many of the accidents occur due to car drivers and motorcycle drivers not following traffic rules and drivers not knowing the laws. Carelessness, lack of knowledge about the use of vehicles on the road, lack of awareness of driving safely, ignorance and lack of discipline regarding following the laws and rules of road safety are all causes of accidents. The “Safety Drive” Project aims at encouraging students to gain knowledge about traffic rules and regulations related driving a car or motorcycle legally, at preventing and reducing road accidents, as well as focusing on the behavioral of drivers that violate and ignore traffic rules. The project is being supported by Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO along with Phuket Transportation Office, Chalong Police Station, Honda ST and teachers of PPAO Muang Phuket School.

Phuket School holds Safety Drive Project

Phuket School holds Safety Drive Project

Phuket School holds Safety Drive Project

Phuket School holds Safety Drive Project

Opinion: Phuket’s Drownings – All should take responsibility

Opinion: Phuket’s Drownings – All should take responsibilityUnfortunately, at this time of year in Phuket one of the main tourist related problems is drownings or near drownings. Recently, within the space of just a few days there were 4 drownings reported on beaches along the island’s most popular west coast in as many days, plus one drowning which has resulted in one person remaining in a coma in hospital. One media source also reported during this period that lifeguards pulled 100 people from the waters, a figure of which I can neither confirm nor deny, which if true is absolutely shocking.

It is also unfortunate that when it comes to these drownings, and more importantly who should take responsibility for trying to prevent them, it appears that there is always someone else who should to take the responsibility rather than any of the involved sectors putting their hands up and saying yes perhaps we can do something to try to help the losses of life on our beaches.

Who’s responsible and what can they do?

At the end of the day, if everybody is so concerned about the rate of deaths here during monsoon season, everybody, and I mean everybody should take some kind of responsibility.

• Warnings could be added to travel brochures, in each country, advising that swimming in the sea at this time of year can be dangerous and people should adhere to the warnings on the beach.
• Warnings could be added to websites selling holidays to Phuket advising people of the dangers.
• Tour operators could advise those booking trips here of the sea conditions.
• Flight operators could provide a spoken warning to their passengers once landing at Phuket airport.
• Large noticeable warning signs should be placed in the airport at locations where it is necessary for all visitors to pass.
• Perhaps some of the large bill boards that take pride of place at the road side en-route from the airport to the tourist destinations could be replaced with warnings; they are certainly big enough to be noticed.
• Tour operators who pick up their guests from the airport should hand each of their guests a printed warning and repeat the spoken warning as provided on the flight.
• Hotels and resorts could have a large sign in their lobby advising their guests of the dangers, they could also give guests a leaflet upon checking in. Furthermore, a warning video could also be added to hotel & resort in-house TV channels.
• When it comes to the beaches, yes there are signs, in many different languages, advising people to take care. However, it may sometimes be possible that people don’t access the beach close to a sign; they’re not 10 feet or so apart, actually quite a bit further, so they may not get to see one.  Yes the flags fly, but who are we to say who actually knows what the flags mean.  This is where we can all take responsibility. If we, as kind hearted citizens, see somebody about to enter the sea and the red flags are flying try to warn them. If they’re a different nationality to your own and they don’t understand, which is a huge possibility, take them to a sign and show them. At least you’ve made the effort and have hopefully deterred somebody taking a risk with their lives.

If all the above warnings were put in place, by the time a tourist arrived in their hotel room they would have received at least 5 warnings, if that isn’t enough to deter them then I don’t know what is.

The above are all things that can be easily implemented and should save lives; it just takes those involved to take the initiative and start putting some of the warnings in place rather than just sitting in a meeting discussing it and not taking any action.

It’s time for Phuket to start taking care of the people who come to visit this lovely island.

Phuket welcomes Lao Road Safety Network

Phuket welcomes Lao Road Safety NetworkOn 24th December 2012, Dr.Sommai Preechasilp – Deputy Governor of Phuket welcomed Mr.Sriwon Thrapthawee, Mr.Boontean Saidon and a number of the team from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s (Lao PDR) Road Safety Network.

The team came to Phuket to learn about how Phuket found solutions to reducing the death toll from road accidents from around 200 to 100 cases per year.

They also learned that Phuket has now been ranked second in Thailand’s table of the provinces which wear the most motorcycle helmets.

Phuket in top five when it comes to road injuries

Phuket in top five when it comes to road injuriesOn 29th October 2012 at Phuket’s Rajabhat University, Phuket Provincial Police Commander -Maj. Gen Choat Chawalwiwat acted as chairman for the Seminar “Campaign for motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets”. The seminar was also attended by Director of Phuket Rajabhat University – Dr. Prapha Kayee, Associate Professor of Public Health Phuket – Dr.Wiwat Sitamanoj, Women’s Vice Air Marshal – Jiraporn Srisil, Ranong Provincial Police Deputy Commander – Pol.Col Wanchai Eakpornpit and around 200 community leaders, teachers and students. The seminar was held in order to make 100% of Phuket people to wear crash helmets when riding a motorcycle.

There are more than 1.2 million people worldwide killed as the result of a motoring accident, and over 50 million injured or disabled. According to World Health Organization records, Thailand is top of the table when it comes to injuries and deaths from road accidents. Therefore, the government has announced a policy to reduce the amount of traffic accidents throughout the country.

When it comes to Phuket, in the table of the amount of injuries and deaths from traffic accidents in Thailand, it is ranked in the top 5, with an average of 33/ 35 people injured per day, and more than 15 deaths per month. These figures mean that the death rate is 66.58 percent per one hundred thousand people, thus, 66.58 out of 100,000 people will die as the result of a road accident. More importantly, and unsurprisingly, the biggest cause of injuries and deaths is due to people not riding a helmet.


Phuket HD urge caution at this year’s Vegetarian Festival

Phuket HD urge caution at this year’s Vegetarian Festival

On 25th September 2012, Phuket Health Department (PHD) held a meeting regarding protection against diseases and accidents at this year’s Vegetarian Festival. The meeting was chaired by Dr.Sak Tenchaikul of PHD and featured guest speakers including Dr.Amornrat Tantithippong – Chief of Occupational Medicine, Mr.Kittithuch Maitreejit a nurse from Vachira Phuket Hospital A & E Department and Miss Saowanee Rathanadilok Na the Phuket Shrine’s Headwoman.

Dr.Sak said “This year’s Vegetarian Festival, being held from 15th – 25th October 2012 Phuket should be a happy occasion. However, last year’s festival saw many injuries due to firecrackers. There were a total of 39 reported injuries from firecrackers, 14 to the eyes and 25 to the hands and legs. There were also 2 casualties of smoke inhalation, one which resulted in death. This meeting is being held to help reduce the number of injuries.”

“There are a large amount of firecrackers used in the parade and from a report is on last year’s it appears that they are mostly used around palanquins and this causes a great deal of danger to those carrying the palanquins.”

The report also found that Jui Tui Shrine was the shrine which had the most noise, with a maximum sound level of 135 dB and an average sound level of 122.6 dB. This is because Hui Tui Shrine is where most firecrackers are used. The other shrines reported normal sound levels.