For the people travelling across Thailand using the bus to Samui from Bangkok or any other route on the road, road safety is, of no doubt, a priority, and it seems that Thailand government see it that way too, with a new initiative to ensure the security of travel on the roads.
Thai police and other officials teamed up in order to subject public transport and chartered bus operators across the country to random drug and alcohol tests. The substance tests are aimed at ensuring drivers are in the proper condition to drive, minimizing the risk of accidents. The tests will be conducted on drivers both before and during their journeys, according to Police Chief and Spokesperson Pol. General WeerachaiSongmetta.
The increased measures were implemented just before the annual Songkran holidays in Thailand, which happen around April 13. Weerachai says that Pol. General Chakthip Chaijinda, RTP Police Chief, gave them instructions to accommodate travellers for the holidays and to implement measures to increase the safety of anyone on the road, whether travelling by bus to Samui from Bangkok or taking a motorcycle, as well as help curb on crime in the country.
Aware of the necessity of people having to their destinations on the cargo beds of pickup trucks, the police decided to set guidelines, exercising discretion towards the people on cargo beds. The people who have been discovered as being under the effects of intoxication or are dangerously positioned, were arrested.
The issue regarding road safety was highlighted tragically a week prior to Songkran when a double-decker coach crashed in the Wang Nam Khieo district carrying travellers from Kalasin, killing 18 and wounding 30 others. Weerachai stated that the owner of the bus faced charges of violating the Land Traffic Act 1979 for allowing another person to operate a public-transport vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.
The victims were properly compensated following that incident, with Southeast Insurance PCL handing Bt650,000 to the families of the deceased, with additional compensation to five of the families totalling to Bt11.6M, plus additional compensation from Chubb Samaggi Insurance PCL totalling to Bt400,000.