Saturday, January 16, 2010

Motorbikes and bhat bus accidents

Motorbikes and bhat-bus taxis (glorified pickup trucks fitted with two sideways seats taking 10 passengers) are notorious here in The Land of Smiles. And now we know why. En route from Pattaya’s Jomtien Beach to Koh Chang we observed two nasty accidents with EMS personnel administering first aid prior to hospitalizing the victims. And we just missed seeing a bhat bus collide with a hydro pole – victims boarded the ferry. Ouch.

Problem is that although there are driving rules & regs, “anything goes” and who knows whether farangs (foreigners) who drive have ever driven a motorcycle previously? No helmets, either.

As for the bhatmobiles as I call them, they’re better from the point of view that Thai drive them and know the road “rules” and traffic flow/unpredictable predictability. This is truly a driver/passenger and, perhaps most importantly, pedestrian-be-aware culture.

We’ve seen this previously, of course, in all our travels – from Cairo to Hyderabad. However, I personally have never before seen three accidents and their victims. Sobering and instructional, that’s for sure.