Traffic light system still on amber as drivers complain about tailbacks and jams
Pattaya’s traffic lights system is still causing disruption to traffic and
resulting in complaints from drivers and residents, and Deputy Mayor Ronakit
Ekasingh on March 15 called in all relevant departments to see if the problems
could be sorted out.
is the belief amongst many that there are too many traffic lights, particularly
along Sukhumvit Road, and that they are causing many of the jams. Ronakit said
that the city has now changed to an ATC (Automatic Traffic Center) system, with
CCTVs mounted at each main road and crossroads. This system is on trial and
needs about two to three months for all the problems to be ironed out.
“Regarding the traffic jams, especially those on Sukhumvit Road and
Pattaya-Naklua Road, the city administrators are never complacent,” he said.
“They check with the complaints center and rectify problems.”
Members of the public have complained that at some lights they have to wait far
too long for the lights to change. Ronakit explained that the lights have a
sensor control. The number of cars is counted, and if the number is not enough
then the lights will not change.
If drivers don’t respect the traffic laws, he said, this might be the cause of
traffic lights not running properly and causing long traffic queues. It is
predicted that everything will be better after the ATC is completed.
Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh calls on all associated departments to rectify
traffic light challenges.
City Scope: City hall’s meet-the-public program visits Zone 2
Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn led city
administrators and Councilors to meet the public.
Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn along with city hall officials and
Pattaya councilors led the latest in the series of meet-the-public
sessions on March 14 at Wat Nongyai field, this one being for the 11
communities in Zone 2.
Heavy rain delayed the start of the event by half an hour, and the meeting
was moved indoors when the downpour showed no signs of easing.
Mayor Niran began proceedings by describing the roles of the deputy
mayors, and then the floor was given over to a question and answer
Residents of Soi 71 complained that the end of the soi regularly suffered
from flooding after rain. Niran explained that the soi is narrow and
low-lying, and that the water flows down and collects at that point. He
said that city hall had already applied to the Office of the Budget for
the amount of 50 million baht to solve the problem, with parts of the
budget going to remedy other areas too.
council member Adisorn Pollok-In helped put out the fire.
A resident named Surin from Ban 5 December Community asked about the tap
water problem at Village No 5. Councilor Farooq Wongborisuthi said that
the council and administrators had already discussed this matter and
cooperated with the water supplier for an urgent survey. Residents
inconvenienced by this problem will have their names collected and
submitted to the water supplier for action.
It was also reported that there was an electrical short circuit and a
burnt generator plate at Sala Temple during the meeting registration, but
that Adisorn Pollok-In, Manot Nongmai, two councilors and a number of
attendants were able to stop the fire spreading.
Other questions for the administrators and councilors concerned
electricity, water supplies, land, poverty, hygiene and tax payments. The
meeting took longer than the expected two hours because of the number of
matters to be discussed.
Niran said that city hall must listen to and examine all problems, so they
can be rectified. Generally, problems are divided into types, such as
those requiring urgent action, those requiring examination, and those that
involved the law.
The mobile meetings are considered a success, and the third one is
scheduled for mid April. All overseas visitors are cordially invited to
attend so they can air their opinions and get to know the city
administration. For more information and seat reservations contact Ratree
at tel. 038 371 112 public relations extension.
Injured youth says police shot at fleeing motorcycle
Police allegedly shot at two youths who fled from a checkpoint, injuring one
of them in the leg.
Officers from Pattaya police station had installed a vehicle checkpoint
under the South Pattaya bridge, and at 3 a.m. on March 9 two youths on a
black and red Honda Wave motorcycle had appeared and apparently decided they
didn’t want to confront the police.
Police have the two suspects
prostrate on the ground. Sonthaya, left, had been shot in the leg.
Instead they turned their motorcycle round and fled.
Officers radioed ahead and chased after them by car until the motorcycle
arrived at Mike Shopping Mall on South Pattaya Second Road, when the youths
stopped and allowed themselves to be detained. They asked for a doctor, as
the pillion passenger was bleeding from a wound on his right calf. The two
said they had been shot at by a police officer.
The injured man was identified as Sonthaya Ngamwong, age 20, and the
motorcycle driver as Thanasak Muankung, 19. Sonthaya was transferred to
Banglamung Hospital. Officers inspecting the motorcycle found what appeared
to be a bullet hole in the seat.
Sonthaya was interviewed in the hospital. He told investigators that he had
gone out riding with Thanasak. They had driven around Pattaya and then
decided to go to Bali Hai Pier. On the way they saw the police checkpoint.
They were afraid that the police might stop them and make them pay a fine.
For this reason they turned back to avoid the checkpoint, and arrived at Soi
17 in South Pattaya where plain clothes police officers were waiting for
them in the middle of the road. They sped up to lose them.
Suddenly they heard the sound of two gunshots. Sonthaya said he was hit in
his right leg. He told Thanasak to stop and let the police arrest them. He
said he clearly remembered that the shooter was a plainclothes police
British man held on charges
of lewd acts with minors
Tourist Police arrest Robert
A British man has been arrested on charges of having sex with underage
Police obtained an arrest warrant on March 16 and entered the Nongprue home
of Robert Alexander Horsman, where they found the accused man and four boys
under the age of 15. Two of the boys were 11 years old, one was 13 and the
other 14. The boys, who were playing games at the time, were taken in for
During the subsequent investigations one 10-year-old victim told police that
Horsman had invited him into his home to play games and then tricked him
into performing lewd acts. The man had paid him 500 baht. The four boys
taken into custody at the time of the arrest verified the boy’s story,
telling officers that Horsman invited them to play games and bought sweets
for them before committing the acts.
Horsman, who has refused to give a statement and denies all charges, has
been charged with sexually assaulting minors and performing lewd acts.
Man arrested for selling ya ba to girls in bars on Soi 7 and 8
Police in the early hours of March 13 arrested a man on Soi 7 for
selling tabs of ya ba. He was named as Theerayut Saengmanee, age 22. He had
30 ya ba pills in his shirt pocket, 12,000 baht, and a mobile phone. Police
kept everything as evidence and charged him with possession of illegal
narcotics intended for distribution.
Theerayut stated that his mother is Thai and his father is German. His
parents separated when he was growing up. He used his European looks to buy
ya ba from Soi Arunothai for 200 baht per pill, and then distributed the
drugs to female workers in the beer bars on Soi 7 and 8 for 300 baht per
Anti-rabies campaign underway as hot summer months loom
A campaign has begun to vaccinate pets against rabies and reduce the risk
of an outbreak during the hot summer months.
Niran Watthanasartsathorn watches as a cats is surgically sterilized.
Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn opened the campaign, which is being
undertaken in cooperation with Chonburi Domesticated Animals Department, on
March 14 at the Public Health Center on Soi Buakaow.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay said that Pattaya City Council through the
Center for Animal Disease Control and Prevention had carried out a survey
counting all the cats and dogs in Pattaya in 2005. In all there were a total
of 3,543 animals. Consequently there is reason for concern that such a large
number of animals could convey pet-borne diseases through touch, being bitten
or being scratched by rabid animals as the virus enters the body through open
abrasions. Once rabies symptoms start to show in humans and animals there is
little hope and the death rate is not far below 100 percent.
The rabies control and prevention campaign project will be held in Pattaya
until March 31. Pets will be vaccinated against rabies and surgically
sterilized in all of the 27 Pattaya local communities free. The project aims
to lessen the risk by vaccinating 80 percent of the total pet population in
Pattaya during the period.
During the opening ceremony for the campaign certificates were awarded to 93
volunteer vets in the city who had completed training between March 8-9 and
who will be on duty with city officials during this period.
Pattaya’s city government attempts to mend poverty
On March 13, a meeting was held at Pattaya City Hall to discuss the city’s
poverty situation. Pannee Limcharoen, Pattaya’s administrator of social
welfare said that Pattaya City has long been plagued with poverty problems
and that some headway has been made toward improvement. The administrator
went on to further explain that the city’s biggest problem deals with a
lack of affordable housing.
Limcharoen, administrator of Social Welfare in Pattaya City spoke about the
city’s poverty problem.
Farooq Wongborisuthi, member of Pattaya City Council and Social Welfare
Department was placed in charge of the meeting. Farooq said that the
district must identify the people who are truly in need and respond
immediately. In addition, he explained that aid should be aimed at Pattaya
citizens and not those people who are transient or from other areas.
The members of the meeting suggested that an operating budget be set up and
that loans be granted to those families identified as being in need.
Banglamung district is currently in the process of amending the
government’s housing policy. Included in this restructuring will be plans
for seven new housing projects. In addition, surveys of 5,356 poverty cases
are being analyzed and 2,899 have already been investigated. Before aid is
given, however, potential candidates will be thoroughly screened and
checked to assure that they meet the minimum requirements for city aid.
New Dharma Hall to open at Wat Chaimonkol
Preparations are going ahead to celebrate the opening of the new Dharma
theory study hall and nursery school at Wat Chaimonkol.
The abbot of the temple, Phra Khru Pisaljariyapiwat, invited Mayor Niran
Watthanasartsathorn and president of the Banglamung Culture Association Surat
Mekavarakul to a meeting that was being held to prepare for the celebrations
that are to be held on March 23.
to left) Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn, Phra Khru Pisaljariyapiwat, abbot,
and Surat Mekavarakul, president of Banglamung Culture Association announce
celebrations for the opening of the new Dharma theory study hall and nursery
school at Wat Chaimonkol.
Mayor Niran said that city hall would help in decorating the temple and
setting up tents for the event, as well as supplying mobile toilet facilities.
Surat said the Banglamung Culture Association would provide assistance with
The Abbot will invite His Holiness Somdej Phra Mahathiracharn of Wat
Chanasongkram to preside over the opening ceremony, and 259 monks from within
the province and from other provinces will also be participating.
Disabled rights group asks for more facilities in Pattaya
Ms Izabel Maior, national director for CORDE,
Suporntham Mongkolsawat, director of Pattaya Occupational Training Center
and team met with Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn.
Ms Izabel Maior, national director for CORDE, the association that
lobbies for closer integration of disabled people within society, together
with Suporntham Mongkolsawat, director of Pattaya Occupational Training
Center, met with Mayor Niran Watthanasartsathorn on March 13 to discuss ways
of further improving the city’s environment for the disabled.
The meeting heard how the Asia-Pacific Center for the Development and
Training of the Disabled had received cooperation from the Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB) to visit Thailand from March 8 to 17. Delegates had
stayed in Pattaya from March 11 to 13 to examine facilities, exchange views,
and study the rights of the disabled here. There is still much to be done in
promoting an environment without obstacles for Pattaya’s disabled by
providing public utilities and better facilities in the public transport
system, was the general view.
Ms Maior talked about the role of the Disabled Organization in Brazil,
saying that there is now greater equality than before. There is also
provision of social welfare with a payment of US$150, which 7 million
disabled Brazilians have already received. There are about 24 million
disabled in Brazil but everyone is equal, with facilities provided in
buildings and transport systems, etc., and it would be good if the same
could be achieved in Thailand.
Mayor Niran said that the disabled have always had rights with the
alteration of footpaths, especially on Beach Road. Access to buses and other
facilities will be implemented this year. Pattaya City Council has always
supported disabled activities, he said, but will, however, consider the
recommendations that were raised.
Road subsidence is a danger to traffic, say residents
Residents concerned at the caving-in of the road surface at the beginning
of Soi Boonkanjana, on Jomtien Beach Road beside the Grand Jomtien Palace
Hotel, contacted Pattaya Mail saying that the road damage was causing
difficulties for traffic and could be a hazard at night.
The damaged road impedes traffic.
Reporters found that the road had caved in to a depth of about 1 foot for a
length of a yard or so. This soi connects Jomtien Beach Road with Sukhumvit
Road, and is busy all day long.
A motorcycle taxi driver said a hole had appeared about three months ago but
on this day it had rained and the hole had become larger.
The reporters went to ask the public works department why the damaged road had
not been repaired. A department engineer, Buntaww Singkorn-Ard, said that
officials knew of the situation and were not ignoring it. They had already
asked the contracting company that had been carrying out repair works why the
hole was still there.
The reason for the damaged surface is that there is a drainage channel some 4
meters deep, and when it rains the sand is washed away, causing the road
surface to subside. City hall will press the contractor to repair the road and
remedy the drainage, and it is expected that the works will be completed
within the next two months.
Electrician deceives restaurant receptionist with intent
to rape her
A restaurant receptionist who placed her trust in a customer who promised to
lend her money so that she could pay her room rent narrowly escaped being
raped when the man dragged her into a thicket and assaulted her.
The incident happened around 2 a.m. on March 10, when Banglamung police
station received a report that a man had attempted to rape a girl in the
bushes behind the Ban Mia Noi Restaurant on Soi Nernplabwan, and that the
assailant was being detained by a villager.
Officers arriving at the scene found Somchai Tapaopong, a 32-year-old
self-employed electrician bleeding from injuries sustained during his
struggle with the villager who had caught him.
Kamolthip Penthisarn, age 19, a receptionist at Ban Mia Noi, gave a
statement to police that she had known Somchai for a while because he was a
regular customer at her place of work. On this day she had told Somchai that
she had trouble paying her rent of about 3,000 baht. Somchai proposed to
lend her that sum, but said that he must go back home to pick it up. If she
needed the money she must go with him.
Therefore she had gone with Somchai on his red Honda Wave motorcycle. At
Classic Villa, which was about 50 meters away from the restaurant, Somchai
turned his motorbike into the thicket and forced her to do as he pleased. He
tied her neck and gagged her so she would not shout before trying to take
off her pants. However, she managed to run away and shouted for help. A
villager appeared and injured the man, and detained him until the police
Somchai was charged with molestation, injury, and detaining a person against
Nice try but no cigar, as police arrest two Italian dealers
Police investigators on learning that two Italians were illegally importing
cigars from overseas to sell to tourists at Tip Plaza parking area in
Central Pattaya set up an undercover operation and acted as buyers.
When the Italians handed over a quantity of cigars in return for an
officer’s proffered 500 baht banknote, the police identified themselves.
They confiscated 38 Cohiba cigars as evidence before escorting the two men
to Pattaya police station for questioning.
Bruno Orsuni and Simone Vito, both Italian nationals, were charged with
concealing and selling goods that had been imported illegally and with
excise duty unpaid.
Girl dies in collision with car driven by American man
A Thai woman died in the early hours of March 14 when a motorcycle she was
riding was in collision with a car driven by an American visitor.
Police from Kong Dongtan sub-station were called out at 3 a.m. to the scene
of the accident at Najomtien Beach Road, in front of the Sea Breeze Hotel.
They found a bronze Toyota Soluna parked in the lane opposite the Najomtien
direction. The front of the car and windshield were heavily damaged. In the
car were the driver, an American national named Gregory Carl Pommerenk, age
58, and two Thai women. On the ground was a badly damaged brown Storm JRD
motorcycle, beside which lay the body of Ms Wanida Sa-Ngadee, age 21, of
Udon Thani province. She had died from multiple injuries.
Pommerenk was taken to Kong Dongtan sub-station. He told police he had lost
control of his car and had crossed into the opposite lane, colliding with
the deceased woman’s motorbike. Police charged him with careless driving
causing loss of life.
More artificial coral reefs to be created by sinking old ships and railway bogies
A proposal to sink old ships and railway bogies in the seas around
Pattaya to encourage the growth of marine life was discussed at a city hall
meeting on March 15.
Co-hosting the meeting were Captain Kiatkul Thiansuwan, chief of Naval Civil
Affairs and his deputy, Captain Surapong Aiyasanon. City administrators and
State Railway of Thailand officials also attended the discussion.
Captain Surapong Aiyasanon (left), deputy chief of naval civil affairs and Captain
Kiatkul Thiansuwan (right), chief of naval civil affairs co-chair the meeting.
The meeting was part of the project that began on March 1 and which will run
until December 30, organized as part of the celebrations surrounding His
Majesty the King’s 60th anniversary celebrations, and which aims to build up
a series of artificial coral reefs and so encourage marine life.
The proposal is that the Navy and the State Railway between them sink up to
60 decommissioned vessels and old railway rolling stock in areas such as Koh
Larn and Koh Pai, near enough to the shore to provide easy access for divers
Sriracha officials sign environmental conservation agreement
On March 7, Sriracha officials signed a declaration that will help protect
and revitalize marine natural resources. The ceremony that took place at the
City Hotel included local administration officials from several governmental
departments including the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM), the General
Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, the Ministry of Natural Resources
and Environment, and the Provincial Natural Resources and Environment.
officials sign a declaration to help protect and revitalize marine natural
The ICM, along with cooperation from Partnerships in Environmental Management
for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) originally consisted of 5 coastal municipal
members in 2001. These original members included Sriracha, Laem Chabang, Chao
Phraya Surasak, Saensuk and Koh Si Chang. With the signing of this document,
three more municipalities (Chonburi, Angsila, and Bangpra) were added. The
goal of this larger organization will be to maintain long-term management of
sea and coastal resources.
Chonburi Deputy Governor Komsan Aekachai signed the declaration on the behalf
of Chonburi. Komsan explained that this document is extremely important
because many locals in this area earn their living from the sea. In the past,
there has been an abundance of natural resources in this district, but today
much of it has been destroyed. Komsan further explained that this is an
important project to make the public conscious of the problems and to
revitalize the area to its former stature.