Dangerous family behavour in Phuket on scooters!

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Joelthailand, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    Riding bikes in the USA without safety gear is referred to as being called a “squid”, there are many websites devoted to exposing the posers on the roads that ride with t-shirts, shorts, flip-flops & of course no gloves or helmets!

    Ok, I’ve lived in Thailand for quite a few years now & yes, according to the rules above I’m a Squid but I do always wear a helmet & sometimes shoes for longer rides! Squid talk aside.

    The thing I want to talk about is a new practice of whole families hiring ONE scooter & riding with one or more young children onboard. Admittedly this has been witnessed for years in small numbers & by a very small percentage of tourists . It was kind of frowned upon but quite rare to see & normally used for very localized short trips of I suppose necessity or laziness in most cases.

    With the explosion of Russian tourists in Phuket this highly dangerous & illegal practice of wobbling around on a scooter with a family of farang children wedged between mum & dad can be seen on a daily basis.

    They don’t know the rules of Thai roads or the subtle way in which Thai’s & tourists actually manage to drive fairly safely together. Most have never riden a scooter before (this is obvious to see) & are used to driving on the other side of the road in their home countries!!! Accidentally killing a whole family is not something anyone should have to live with or even witness on the street & the negative effect on the tourism industry will not be good when splashed over the world news tv stations & papers. The spin would be how dangerous our roads are & not how stupid the family was.

    Phuket is not a small quiet Island of sandy dirt tracks leading to deserted beaches from remote villas! Ok, it has plenty of quiet remote places but not where cheap holiday packages are sold. It is pretty built up in the tourist areas with fast roads, buses, lorries, trucks, mini-buses, coaches & many Thai’s riding fast scooters & food sidecars doing all sorts of unexpected things & of course the usual foreign (farang) tourists renting small motorbikes, big powerful bikes & cars, all add to this crazy cocktail of road madness. Let's not forget that the over loading of an underpowered & usually poorly maintained rental scooter is not very clever either. They are really built for one person with an a small pillion rider NOT a four person family of large westoners!

    Holiday insurance does not cover motorbike accidents in most cases, your holiday rep will warn you of this at your 1st day hotel meeting . The super basic 3rd party cover included with the road tax will only cover the damage to the other vehicle, the idiot family on the scooter get nothing for example. Fully comprehensive 1st class insurance (never supplied with cheap scooter rentals) would only cover the driver & ONE passenger NOT a whole family on-board. Forgot to mention the absence of a international valid bike license could cause real problems with a serious accident investigation!! Some blame must go on the poor public bus services & crazy high priced tuk tuks on Phuket & the fact that Thai families can be seen riding bikes three or four up everywhere & the police don't stop them! Well, most Thai families can't afford a car & that's how they do things in their own country etc. Tourists should know better, can you imagine seeing a family wobbling around the streets of London, new York or Paris on a tiny uninsured scooter in bikins & flip-flops even if it was legal....lol 555

    What we don’t want or need is Russian families pulling out onto busy roads looking in the wrong direction or wobbling or stalling in the middle of fast lanes with three or sometimes four family members on one scooter. Very stupid & irresponsible…..go & do it somewhere else or stop it now.

    These two idiot parents over took me on a blind corner!


    Very over loaded scooter action.


    Mum looks fantastic in her matching helmet/dress ensemble...Oh and a young child with no helmet...oops!


    dad is working on his tan in the middle of a busy road with kid on-board!


    Family of squids in a hurry to get somewhere. Hospital maybe?


    I see about 10+ families a day in high season doing this & maybe 1 or 2 a day in low season. They travel for up to 30kms to the airport, zoo, aquarium, shopping centers with picnics & many shopping bags onboard on 3 lane fast busy roads, not just local beach roads. I've even seen a family of squids hurtling up the steep mountain dirt track to Big Budha statue with dad riding with one hand drinking a bottle of beer at 60+kmh, with mum smoking a cigarette in one hand & talking on a cell phone with the other & two small children sandwiched between them.......unbeleivable!!
    It's very hard taking these pictures while driving, as a camera is not easy to use when I see a stupid families of squids riding towards me at speed. So here are a few pictures that I managed to take of this ridiculous new phenomenon in Phuket. Feel free to add any pictures to this thread of idiots on scooters or any stories or thinking on this subject.

    Happy & Safe riding folks :thumbup:
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  3. LivinLOS

    LivinLOS Ol'Timer

    Dawinism at play..

    Just to be clear.. I am not advocating an actual cull of stupid people, but cant we just take the warning labels off everything and let nature sort it out.
  4. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    haha, I like your theory!! I'm a fan of the Darwin awards website & love the natural selection thing. My only problem with the culling of these stupid people is, all the crap & police red tape etc etc i'd have to endure if they drive head first into my truck!!
  5. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    This bother me also, as is it not a parents responsibility to protect there child as much as possible. It's terrible seeing a parent with a helmet and the kid without.

    20 years ago a friend and neighbor had just stepped off their bicycle and went to unbuckle the 3 year old girl from the rear bike seat. Well in that moment the little girl shifted tipping the bike over, away from her Mom. A child's skull is more fragile to impact the younger the age. That little girl suffered serious and permanent brain damage, needing full time care for the rest of her life. Parents fell pieces, marriage broke up, job lost, a drug addition, and the last I heard that girl was living full time in a facility in a different city when she was a pre teen. I will never forget Sarah.

    Twice I have bought friends small sized helmets for their child; and badgered other friends that bicycle and motorcycle with young kids to get helmets. Crap, extra small sized, with full side and rear coverage, Index helmets are damm cheap. And worlds better than those rubbermaid salad bowls in most of Joel's pictures.

    With a helmet on a child is pretty darn durable in the event of a fall; but what an experience it would be to be six years old and alone in Thailand because their parent's, who's wearing nothing flip-flops and a bathing suit, brains are spilled on the road.

    Culling of stupid people aside, there should be a freaking difficult as sh1t test that must be aced with fulling colors just to have the privilege of being a parent.
  6. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    Can't believe this accident happened right in front on me today. Just very strange that a Russian girl caused a Thai lady & her 1 year daughter to hit the road hard! After everything I said about a foreigner kid having accidents, a Thai kid gets hurt.

    The blond Russian girl on the yellow bike pulled out of 7/11 looking the wrong way & the Thai lady locked her brakes & went flying. The Russian girl got angry saying it was not her fault & drove off fast!! She was very lucky no Thai guys saw it or she would have been in heaps of trouble with that attitude.

  7. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    I am going to disagree (to an extent)...

    If the farang is a decent, experienced rider, the should be able to ride in Thailand, safely, with care... I often ride with my boys on the back of my bike on farms etc.... Australian law doesn't allow pillions until they are 8 years old....

    I would have no problem pillioning both my wife and one kid on the bike, so long as it isn't seriously overloaded... I think scooters are going to struggle enough with two 70-80kg farrang, + a 20kg kid.... would be pushing it... but on a proper bike...

    We don't know whether this family is stopping off half way through a RTW Tour...

    but there is never an excuse for putting kids on a bike without a helmet...
  8. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    daewoo. i know this looks like i'm very anti taking kids on bikes. I'm not! Anyone who's got experience on bikes or has lived or traveled in Thailand for sometime, I have absolutely no problem with.

    It's the idiots on there 1st holiday to Thailand that in most cases have never mostly never even riden a bike before!!! They usually come from countries that drive on the right hand side of the road. The list goes on & it's my biggest pet hate at the moment.

    I would happily ride a with a kid on-board because i've been riding for 20+ years & have lived here 5+ years etc etc. I have my own bike & it's serviced, maintained properly & have full insurance which also helps......It's the stupid, ignorant, clueless twats form eastern Europe riding on basic 3rd party (if any) insurance, 150thb per day crappy rental bikes that pisses me off.......seeing is believing!
  9. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    Like to add that my son has been a pillion for 10 years, he's 16 now. Rides himself around a lot now. We had our first and only crash on those water crossing to the long necks near Mae Hong Song. Was going too fast, but the worst of it was scratches to the bike and a muddy kid. No injures as we were geared up; plus I landed on him.

    Agree with Joel, parents that are not responsible for their kids safety in ways like wearing helmets, are they any different from local parents whom have their kids selling flowers at the Thai intersections all day?

    Kid has been to all corners of Thailand on the back of a bike, though we've never rode south of Hia Hin. Yet;

  10. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    Hey Fishenough, that's a great story & i'm happy to hear you & your son have had 10 years of biking fun. Keep up the good work. ;)

    I only really started this thread (rant) because I was at boiling point seeing all these idiots riding badly 3 & 4 up on scooters everywhere!! I had to vent my anger somehow & with the few pictures I took, I thought I would show Thailand this problem going on in Phuket. Especially highlighting the eastern European fresh off the plane tourists packing a family of four on a rental scooter on day one of their holiday!!

    This thread was never aimed at giving expats or Thai people a hard time.
  11. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    It's funny that in many ways foreigners who come to Thailand act quite differently, if not opposite, from the way they do at home. It's like there's something in the air that not only the tourists are on holiday but also common sense. Retired farts marry young girls, office workers believe they can run a bar, and the whole family rides around on a small bike with thin plastic bowls disguised as helmets on their heads.
    It's like nobody is taking anything serious until they wake up - broke, ripped off or in the hospital.
    That said I sold my Wave after 65,000km mainly riding in shorts, flip-flops and no helmet - but I never went down!
  12. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    haha, Funny and so true!!
  13. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    On the IRC tire of my Nouvo it says: maximum 125 kg at 33 PSI...
  14. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    definitely agree that your first riding experience shouldn't be in Thailand with a kid on board...

    but I think my first riding experience was in Patong, from a hire shop, onto the wrong side of the road as the throttle opened up as I turned... could have crashed in the first 5 seconds... made it to the hotel... my second riding experience was with my pregnant wife on the back from the hotel out touring around Phuket...

    I think it was relatively safe once I sort of knew what I was doing...

    I reckon there is a business doing 1/2 day rider training courses in a quiet area for 2 week millionaires... you aren't going to stop them wanting to hire them... would be good to train them better, and make some money out of it at the same time...
  15. sam14300

    sam14300 Member

    [I only really started this thread (rant) because I was at boiling point seeing all these idiots riding badly 3 & 4 up on scooters everywhere!! I had to vent my anger somehow & with the few pictures I took, I thought I would show Thailand this problem going on in Phuket. Especially highlighting the eastern European fresh off the plane tourists packing a family of four on a rental scooter on day one of their holiday!!

    This thread was never aimed at giving expats or Thai people a hard time. ]

    When I get upset over things in Thailand, I remind myself to the fact that this is not my country. If I don't like it I can go back to my country and complain. People do not like forigners to tell them how to run there country. I came to Thailand because I loved most of what it is about. I will let them decide how they want to handle thier affairs. When they want my opinion I am sure they will ask. Just my thoughts. Thanks.
  16. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    This is amusing! You ask me to keep my opinion to myself & then give me you opinion....HHmmm

    Feel free to ignore my warnings should you ever be driving a truck/car through Phuket's tourist areas in high season. Me & many friends who live & work on Phuket, including Thais, are getting fed up with watching dad, mum & two young kids rocketing across main roads looking in the wrong direction. No one wants to be driving the truck that accidentally kills three or four people on a scooter!!

    Read my post properly & you will notice I have not complained that the Thai authorities/police have been over looking this practice. I have not complained about Thai people or expats riding scooters dangerously. Just bringing this new Eastern European thing of idiots on scooters to the attention of normal people (expats) who lead normal lives in Thailand, a new road hazard to consider. :thumbup: just saying.
  17. KZ25

    KZ25 Ol'Timer

    Sam, if you don't want to read the thread, look only at the pictures... I didn't see any Thais in them...

    "If I don't like it I can go back to my country and complain."

    Good news: With all the globalization going on you now don't need to go to your country anymore to complain. You can do it right here! :)
  18. Moe Man

    Moe Man New Member

    Very interesting reading I often wonder about the injury stats. for children as passengers here in Thailand. I am considering purchasisng a new Tiger Future110cc with side car any advice on the learning curve IRT the side car operation would be greatly appreciated.
  19. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    That would be a great statistic to know how many tourists crash bikes & how many kids get injured & how many actually pay for injury/damages out of their pockets or get insurance to pay???

    Sorry folks I have failed in getting a picture of four idiots on a scooter without helmets, i'm just not quick enough with the camera.....As soon as i do i will post!!

    These idiots we're weaving thru rush hour traffic & the kids didn't have the helmets straps on!


    This guys was riding with one hand holding a sleeping young child....at least he pulled over to answer his phone! Irresponsible behavior just doesn't cut it when driving on a main road with one hand riding & one hand a holding a sleeping baby.

  20. madjbs

    madjbs Ol'Timer

    Seems a bit weird going around taking photos of people to post on the internet...
  21. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    I personally thought I had failed by only taking 7 pictures in four months, I won't give up the day job to become a journalist.

    Flickr 4.2 million photos uploaded a day.
    Instagram 4.5 million photos uploaded per day.
    Facebook more than 250 million pictures uploaded every day........That's a hell of a lot of weird people putting up potentially weird photos on the internet....yikes!

    I'm over it now these people can cause accidents to others, even kill themselves, who cares! Don't know why i even bothered getting annoyed with it in the first place.
  22. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    I'm glad you took the time to post these pictures. I don't care one bit if an adult wants to splatter themselves on the road, but putting children at risk like that is unconscionable. Then again, I've had people tell me that I am an irresponsible parent for taking my son on the motorcycle... :think:
  23. Joelthailand

    Joelthailand Ol'Timer

    Thx for the support Tony, you carry on taking your son on your motorcycle & ignore the people saying your irresponsible. An experienced expat rider is soooo different to some idiot family on a rental scooter riding for the first time with no insurance or riding experience etc etc.

    I've been all over Thailand & Phuket seems to be the only place where tourists get off a plane & put a whole family on one scooter, then wobble about on busy main roads, pull out on fast junctions looking in the wrong direction (home country drives on the right side i guess). I've been involved in more near miss accidents with bikini clad families on a scooter when driving my truck than I care to remember. Every other shop/hotel rents scooters & bigger bikes to anyone that has a passport & the police do nothing here to stop it happening. How can a family of four drive past a policeman just wearing beach wear on a fast duel carriageway & get away with it!!

    Despite madjbs little dig, I realize this is the way it is here in Phuket & I have just got to ignore it, turn a blind eye etc. Try my hardest not to crash into one of these families while driving my truck. No matter how much it wasn't my fault, if it's a well connected Thai family that owned & rented the scooter to the idiot tourists. That could equal a whole heap of police red tape & trouble.

    The main contributor to this problem is an almost non existent cheap bus service & the minimum price in a TukTuk is 200thb, this could mean a 300meter ride from the beach to your hotel = 200thb or for example Kata to Patong is 4km's which costs 400 - 500thb!!! So why pay that ridiculous amount of money two or three times a day when you can rent a scooter! So even if they have never riden a bike before, budget tourists take the cheaper more dangerous scooter option.

  24. Satonic

    Satonic Ol'Timer

    Wow the TukTuk Mafia are making a killing! The prices there are plain ridiculous compared to the rest of Thailand.

    After getting into a TukTuk some years back from Kathu to Patong the driver almost flipped the vehicle coming over the mountain and I promised myself never to get in one again.
  25. Fishenough

    Fishenough Ol'Timer

    I agree with Tony, glad you're sharing your pictures. If even one single parent takes warning from these pictures and one child is saved from death, or brain damage, this thread was worth it's space a thousand fold.
  26. Changnoi1

    Changnoi1 Ol'Timer

    I do not think stupidity has something to do with the price of public transport.
    I see here "longterm residents of the Kingdom" who think it is normal to ride you scooter with speeds between 50 and 80 and not wear a proper helmet, not using the strap of the helmet, wearing flip-flops and a short trouser. No protection for their eyes (against dust and dirt). Even having an accident will not make them think twice about it. And then even complaining about sun-burns ... shirts with long sleeves? O that is so warm ... well actually not protecting your skin from the sun is more hot!
    I think it is all Darwin at work. So I think 99% of these kind of people would not understand the problem of the photos. Maybe police should stop them and hit them with an hammer on their head. Does that hurt? Well imagine how it feels when you hit a pole along the road with 80km/h.

    Chang Noi

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