There has been a heated discussion on Thai social media after increasing reports that, with the return of tourists to the “Sandbox” island, Phuket police had started again actively carrying out traffic checks, where the focus was on foreign tourists who travel around the island with a rental motorcycle.
Royal Thai Police (RTP) spokesman Colonel Khemmarin Hatsiri confirmed to the press that traffic police on Ratuthit 200 Years Road near Bangla Junction are carrying out checks to ensure road safety and compliance with traffic regulations. This is a common practice, the RTP spokesperson emphasized.
According to Colonel Khemmarin, not only foreigners but also the local population are stopped if they do not obey the traffic rules. He cited as an example not wearing a motorcycle helmet or not having a valid driver’s license. He went on to say that Phuket Police Chief Sermphan Sirikhong had emphasized that he would not tolerate any traffic violations in his area of responsibility that would harm road safety on the roads of the island province, and so he would continue to abide by the controls. In the meantime, he warned his corrupt officials with disciplinary action and criminal penalties if they are caught collecting bribes.
The RTP spokesperson, in turn, emphasized the urgency that motorbike rental companies should first check whether tourists have a Thai or a valid international driver’s license before renting a vehicle.
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