Phuket targets road deaths

Phuket targets road deaths

Plans afoot to curb rate to 110 a year

Visitors arrive at Phuket airport in December 2021. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Visitors arrive at Phuket airport in December 2021. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

Phuket aims to reduce road fatalities from 135 per year on average to 110 or better within the next year, while the provincial health office is offering 100,000 free influenza vaccine doses to tourists.

Governor Sophon Suwannarat said after a Phuket Road Safety Operation Committee meeting at City Hall on Wednesday that the province will toughen traffic measures to tackle road accidents.

From 2017-2022, Phuket saw 135 road accident deaths on average per year, or about 11 deaths per month.

Mr Sophon said road accident deaths from January to Nov 13 of this year stood at 141, an increase of 26 from the same period last year. So far this year, the island province has recorded over 18,600 casualties from road accidents.

The province will introduce urgent policies to improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians, as well as prevent deaths and injuries. The governor said the city will strictly follow the Road Safety Master Plan for 2022-2027.

The meeting also agreed to regulate car rental operators and strictly enforce the rules: car or motorbike renters must hold a valid driver's licence, and motorcyclists must wear a helmet at all times while riding.

Moreover, car rental businesses must not keep their clients' passports during a rental period and only rent out legally registered cars with proper third-party insurance. The vehicles must also be well-maintained and roadworthy.

The committee also considered the draft of a road safety operation plan for 2024, guidelines which govern policies and lay out action plans for the effective prevention of road accidents.

Mr Sophon said Phuket has set a target of bringing road-accident deaths down to 22.57 per 100,000 of the population from next year.

Meanwhile, the Phuket Provincial Public Health Office is offering free influenza shots to both Thai and foreign tourists, following the Safety Phuket Island Sandbox measure.

The Phuket Public Health Office chief, Dr Kusak Kukiattikoon, said 100,000 free shots are being given under the Public Health Ministry's Quick Win 100 Days Policy, which focuses on safe travel, public health emergencies, disease protection and a public health fund for tourists.

The vaccine service, which requires pre-registration, runs until tomorrow on the second floor of the Limelight Phuket department store from 9am-8pm and on Nov 26 at Phuket Chaloem Phrakiat Park from 3pm-6pm.

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