CHIANG RAI – A tour bus driver has been reprimanded and fined (bt5000) by the Chiang Rai land and transport office for driving with undo care and attention after he was captured on video making an illegal pass on the Chaing Rai – Chiang Mai Highway.
The driver of the tour bus Mr. Chalong Panya, age 63 was captured on video over taking traffic at high speeds at a blind corner of the Chaing Rai – Chiang Mai Highway after dropping off a load of Chinese tourists at Chiang Rai’s Mae Fah Luang International Airport.
In the video (below) you can see him passing traffic against a double line near a blind corner of the highway, causing oncoming vehicles to drive on the shoulder of the road as to prevent a head on collision.
Mr. Chalong admitted to the transport office officials that his actions were wrong and said he would accept any punishments handed to him.
The owner of the tour bus company based in Chiang Mai told the Transport office that it has operated for more than 30 years and has strict safety standards and that safety training for it’s drivers was conducted twice a month.
Officials at the transport office said that Chiang Rai police are still overlooking the video and the driver may face additional charges from police.
In July of this year 25 French tourists were injured after a bus they were traveling on to Chiang Rai from Chiang Mai overturned in wet conditions on Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai Highway.
The bus driver, who ironically wasn’t injured, claims that he lost control of the bus in heavy rain while going around a corner in Dong Mada, Mae Lao District at 5:30 p.m.
The bus itself ended up on its side with rescue workers having to access those injured in the crash via the roof of the bus.
Five people were taken to hospital while the other passengers were described as having only minor abrasions.