Pattaya’s poor drivers are being dragged into an age of safer driving, but they’re kicking and screaming all the way.
Newly elected officials are being pressured to stop or even reverse safe-driving measures that have been accepted and proven effective in the west for decades.
Meeting with traffic engineers June 29, Deputy Mayor Manote Nongyai reviewed the many complaints about the painting of traffic signs and lines on roads in Naklua, the installation of new traffic signs and use of reflective road studs to mark lanes and dark intersections.
Thailand, with the worst road-fatality rate in the world outside of Africa, isn’t taking lightly to public officials telling them how to drive.
Mayor Poramet Ngampichet appeared to cave to such pressure June 30, inspecting an intersection on Naklua Road in front of Phothisamphan Temple where a careless motorcyclist crashed, allegedly after driving over a road stud.
Poramet offered condolences to the injured driver and promised to “fix” the problem with the road studs, which are put there specifically to keep such reckless drivers in their lanes.
Manote, meanwhile, bowed to complaints about road signs being installed exactly where the law says they should be: 60 centimeters from the road surface. Locals complained, however, that sidewalks near the Naklua market are only 120 cm. wide, putting the signs in the middle of the walkway.
Rather than actually widen too-narrow footpaths, Pattaya will relocate the signs “to fit the local community”, Manote said.
As for panting of lanes and signs on the road, Manote said the project will be reviewed before it continues in three other locations.