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Public transport operators on the island will have their driving licences seized, suspended or terminated if they break Department of Land Transport (DLT) rules, and people now can report driver’s behaviour directly via the 1584 phoneline.
The announcement came from Chief of Phuket Land Transport Office, Jarurong Kaewkasi, during a meeting held at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday (Dec 9).
He warned all of Phuket’s public transport operators that if they are found to be breaking traffic laws they will face more severe penalties from the DLT in addition to charges for violating existing traffic laws.
“Licences will be seized, suspended or terminated if any driver is found guilty of damaging the island’s tourism image by either driving recklessly, acting inappropriately or endangering others,” said Mr Jaturong.
“Our records show that many public transport drivers in Phuket have failed to obey traffic laws and cause so many accident and distress on Phuket roads because they drive dangerously.
“Reckless driving has done a lot of damage to the island’s tourism image and it is time to tighten up on our laws and regulations,” he added.
The penalty for first-time minor offences such as neglecting to use a meter in a taxi or failing to display their ID is a B1,000 fine.
For a second offence their will be a B1,000 and temporary 30-day suspension of a licence.
A third offence will leave the driver with a fine of B1,000 and 6-months suspended licence .
Minor offences also include charge higher fares, failure to drop off passengers the agreed place and refusal to pick up passengers.
The penalty for first-time offences fore more severe breaches such as driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances will see drivers have their licences suspended for 30-days.
Second-time offenders will have their licences suspended for 60-days. While third-tome offenders will have their licences terminated.
Other severe offences include taking drugs while operating public transport, operating public transport while being unfit to do so.
These new rules came into affect on Dec 1. If you do witness any public transport operator breaking traffic laws, driving recklessly or behaving in a way that damages the island’s tourism image please notify Public Transportation Passengers Protection Centre on 1584, a 24 hour service.