Tourists and other passengers arriving at Phuket International Airport from today can expect booze-, drug- and weapons-free taxi and van drivers to take them to their final destination on the island.
Regular police, Tourist Police, Royal Thai Navy personnel and Transport Dept officials launched a campaign to boost road-safety over the Thai New Year Songkran holidays.
The campaign launched today is part of the “White Airport” safety initiative of Airports of Thailand (AoT), which operates six airports in Thailand, including Phuket International Airport, explained Airport Director Monrudee Gettuphan at the launch this morning (April 10).
“I welcome for all participants who join the ‘White Airport’ project. Together, we can inspire confidence among passengers with this project by working with other officials, including Sakoo Police, Royal Thai Navy and Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO),” she said.
Specifically to be tested for alcohol and drugs are drivers from Transport Service Business Phuket Cooperative, the Phuket Mai Khao Sakhu Co Ltd and Phuket Taxi Meter Co Ltd, Ms Monrudee explained.
The three taxi and van transport companies are currently contracted as the only companies with drivers empowered by AoT to pick up passengers from Phuket airport. Independent drivers and drivers working for other companies and co-operatives may drop off passengers only.
However, Ms Monrudee noted, “All drivers will be randomly checked for alcohol and drugs to reduce unsafe situations and accidents involving passengers.
“I wish every participant is successful in helping to solve this problem by us all working well together,” she added.
Phuket Tourist Police Chief Lt Col Naruewat Puttawiro concurred.
“This is the first day of this campaign. Officials will randomly test all public transport drivers entering Phuket International Airport, including drivers of metered taxis, vans and limousines,” he said.
“This project will continue throughout the Songkran holidays, and will be especially enforced from April 13-15. Every public driver must be checked for alcohol, drugs and weapons when we call them to be checked
“If they are found to be breaking any of these laws, they will be sent to Sakoo Police Station to be charged,” Col Naruewat assured.
Although it was made plain that campaign will continue throughout the Songkran holidays, Ms Monrudee, Col Naruewat and all pubic statements issued by AoT about the campaign have yet to mark when the campaign will end.
-The Phuket News