Silliness Safe Crossing with Flags

Safe Crossing With FlagsThis Bangkok Post article really sums up Thailand. Adding to the effect is the deadpan way the newspaper just states the facts of the case, as if nothing more needs to be done or said, and how this story gets a three-inch treatment on page 4, sandwiched between two larger stories about the airport luggage scanner scandal and a bid to give citizenship to a stateless choir leader:

[Note to American readers: a zebra crossing is a crosswalk]

Bangkok Post
Wednesday, July 19th, 2006


Two tourists run over on zebra crossing

Two foreign visitors were crushed to death by an excavator as they held aloft road safety flags while crossing a busy road in Bangkok yesterday.

British tourist Gary Thomas Chambers, 28, and his Norwegian girlfriend Hanne Karlsen, 20, were seen waving the flags to alert passing traffic before stepping out onto the pedestrian crossing in front of the Princess Hotel on Lan Luang road in Pomprap Sattruphai district.

A witness said the two were then hit by an eight-wheel backhoe. The heavy vehicle mowed them down in the bus lane, crushing them both to death.

Pol Maj Akarachai Chamchoi, inspector of Nang Loeng station, said each of the tourists was carrying a safety flag. The flags were placed on the roadside so pedestrians could use them to signal oncoming vehicles to stop—part of a government road safety campaign called "Safe Crossing With Flags".

Pol Maj Akarachai said the excavator belonged to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. The driver, Saichon Innork, 35, a city employee, was charged with reckless driving.

Mr Saichon said there was a problem with his brakes. He was driving back from a landscaping site and as he approached the hotel he spotted the two tourists but was unable to stop his vehicle. Police said the tyres had almost no tread.

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