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We have had a fantastic response from all of you with regards to your ideas about how to keep the roads safer for everybody in Koh Samui, residents, locals and visitors alike. We are very grateful for your feedback and would like to thank everybody who took the time to give us their suggestions that included –
Having active traffic Police
Having more road cameras
Having a driving test that is worth its name
Getting kids off motorbikes
Educating the locals
Taxi drivers/safari drivers to show driving licenses to authorities before being allowed to drive
Having more speed limits and enforcing them
Having photographs of accidents on the side of the road to act as a deterrent to dangerous driving
Having checkpoints for drunk driving and speeding
Having more sets of traffic lights with a police presence
Addressing the lack of metered taxis making it more affordable to take a cab
Drink driving checks for taxi drivers
Police to stop and prosecute reckless drivers
Having speed cameras
Impound the vehicles of road traffic law offenders
Employing a penalty system for road traffic law offences
Crushing the vehicles of repeat drink drive offenders
Having better, safer and cheaper public transport options
Action to be taken against reckless cement mixers and mini bus drivers
Higher fines for non use of helmets
4 way stop signs in accident black spot areas
More personal responsibility – don’t drink drive, wear a helmet
Drain grates put the right way round
Hotels to honor their duty of care when people report reckless driving from their drivers and having an Island wide publicity campaign.
While only one or two of you, that took the time to respond, feel that the situation is what it is and should be left as it is, the vast majority seem to want to embrace a change. With that in mind the Samui Times is currently looking at options to set up an island wide road safety awareness campaign and would like to hear from any island residents that would be interested in getting involved. Obviously many of the suggesting put forward would require the local authorities and police to make a change, however, as a community we can highlight the risks to visitors to the island and raise awareness of the dangers of driving drunk and driving with no helmet. We can also help to educate locals who may not have had the benefit of driving lessons and help to educate children to be safe drivers in the future. We also hope to set up workshops to educate those who might be present at the scene of the accident in basic first aid, and ensure any help given is beneficial rather than detrimental to the victims.
If you would like to be involved in making the island a safer place for drivers then please register you interest by leaving your name below this post with a contact number or email address or sending your details to firstname.lastname@example.org . Once we have sufficient numbers we will announce the date and time for a preliminary meeting which will be the first step for the community to make a difference and help to save lives.
Here are some ideas for roads of Koh Samui following your article :
1. In many countries of the world all citizens must be able to present an id card in case of police control.
2. We create a simple, public, centralized file to fill the reports.
Helmets on motorbikes
– Driving motorbike without helmet for the 1st time : driver must show id card, report is filled in the file with the name of the driver and the infraction, he gets a warning : “You need to buy a helmet”. No fine.
– Driving motorbike without helmet for the 2st time : report filled ; last warning : “You must buy a helmet NOW”. No fine.
– Driving motorbike without helmet for the 3st time : driver brought to police station, fine 2000THB, forbidden to drive until he presents himself with a helmet at the police station.
If bringing the driver to police station is too much work : driver must park his motorbike and go to police station by himself immediately, ask a friend to drive him or must take a taxi. If he doesnt go to police station he will be sued.
No fine in the street, only in police station; or police must provide a receipt with the number/id of the fine. Driver can check that this fine really exists: – in other police stations – maybe on Internet, website linked to the file database ?
Pocket money and corruption for the police not allowed. Policemen and fine database is checked by one office of the army or government.
Forbidden to drive with no lights. People driving without lights are forced to go to the shop to repair it. No fine. Report in the file and punishment if caught again.
There should not be dogs living in the street near the main roads. Ask a solution to Cat & Dogs foundation and to the government.
Driving too fast
Simple rules. More signs about speed limit. Some ads / education.
Apply the law.
Driving too young
Minimum age to drive and apply the law; no kids driving motorbike.
Kid + parents punished.
Too many weight or too many people on 1 motorbike
Each model of motorbike must have:
– max weight allowed
– max people allowed, example : 2 adults + 1 kid max.
Cool rules with this, same as helmet, in order to give some time to people to reorganize their habits.
Reports in the file.
People driving dangerously, too fast, without helmet and drunk, at the day time, should go to jail in police station for 12/24h.
People driving little bit drunk at night time: cool rules for the 1st months, forced to park and to take a taxi.
People driving very drunk at 5am: need to find something
Reports in the file.
Army comes to Samui and forces all taxi to use the meter. Meter can start at 100THB included 2km then add 12THB/km.
Most of people will then be able to go dinner with friends drinking wine/bier or go party without driving and back home with a taxi.
This requires a lot of taxis near Green Mango at night time.
Another cool idea for the helmet
Volunteer people go work with police. When police stops someone driving without helmet, 2 of the volunteers team bring the driver to a shop and force him to buy a helmet.
I’m pretty sure many people could volunteer for this sometimes without being paid.
The helmet selling police check
Special police check with a lot of helmets, who gives choice to people driving without helmet when they stop them :
– Fine 2000THB
– or buy a helmet from us now.
It’s not the job of police to sell helmet so a special team could join them.
Fake and bad helmet
Fake brand clothes are cool, but when it comes to life of people such as helmets, we need quality.
All shops checked and forbidden to sell fake or bad helmets.
Minimum legal quality needed is upgraded.
Police do not check the quality of the helmet of people.
Some advertising saying: “Go check your helmet at your shop, it could save your life”.
People can go make their helmet checked by a professional by themselves, or not.
If they don’t, they will pay the price with pieces of their brain exploded everywhere on the road in case of accident.
So it needs to be clear: the lane on the side of the road, is this a bicycle/motorbike lane, or a parking ?
Seems most of time it’s a motorbike lane, but at some places people think it’s a parking.
Rehabilitation of motorbike lane.
Motorbikes must drive on their special lane most of time, except to pass someone if the road is clear.
As we have new signs about speed limit, all motorbikes should be in single file at the same speed on this lane.
Cars parked on the motorbike lane are immediately impounded: you do not park in the middle of the road.
Requires more parking space elsewhere.
We never know who can go first at intersections.
And no, it’s not the biggest who goes first.
Some signs, some “Stop”, white lines on the road, could give a little bit more organization at least.
When a motorbike is in the middle of the road, and turn on his turn signal light to turn right : it is forbidden for the big car behind to klaxon and accelerate. Car behind needs to slow down and wait a few seconds.
People can report car drivers doing like this and they forced to get more education about driving and people respect.
Motorbike driving wrong way
All this new rules, motorbike lane, some signs, little bit more respect and education, should make motorbike life easier, maybe they will less need to drive in the wrong way if they can cross the road easy. It’s a vicious circle.
Fix the road
A special emergency team must be in place to fix and repair the holes in the road very fast. Budget needed, from gov, or new tax, anything.
Driving is a game
As driving like this, with all the rules, will be boring for some thais who likes to drive for fun, we can think about a cheap, professional, big races, where they can come with their motorbike or rent moto, rent solid protections and pro helmet, and drive like crazy with a coach.
Circuits/races of course not linked to the road, as a moto club.
It will be “the death race”, but nobody is forced to go play there.
At least only volunteer dies here and road are safer for normal people.
As driving license became very difficult to pass, could be allowed small motorbikes for tourists and beginners without driving license, with a speed limit of 30 in the city, 40 on normal roads, and 50 on big roads.
To be noted that tourists will rent less motorbike / cars when taxis will use meter.
License mandatory for bigger motorbike and motos.