Prosecutors decide today if officer who fatally struck pedestrian will stand trial

FILE PHOTO: Taken by rescue workers

Prosecutors will today decide whether to indict a police officer who fatally struck a pedestrian while riding a Ducati motorbike at speed. Norawich Buadokw was off duty and riding the un-licenced superbike when he hit Bangkok ophthalmologist Dr Waraluck Supawatjariyakul on a pedestrian crossing. The incident happened on Phaya Thai Road in the Ratchathewi district of the capital on January 21.

Norawich has been charged with the death of Dr Waraluck and later today, prosecutors will hold a press conference to announce their decision on whether he will stand trial. The Bangkok Post reports that the police officer’s attendance is required at the briefing. He faces 9 charges, including reckless driving causing death and riding a motorbike without a licence plate.

The death of Dr Waraluck as she was using a zebra crossing prompted outrage around the country and resulted in a rush to improve the safety of Thailand’s pedestrian crossings, all too often ignored by road users. Anupong Paojinda from the Interior Ministry says several provinces have launched awareness campaigns. Some emphasise the need to enforce the speed limit around schools and hospitals and in residential communities. Others involve re-painting pedestrian crossings and making speed signs more visible to motorists.

Anupong says the campaigns aim to prevent any more accidents such as that which killed Dr Waraluck, adding that many others have been left permanently disabled by similar incidents. He says that while public awareness is important, the authorities also need to enforce existing traffic laws and dish out the toughest punishments to those who break them.

Meanwhile, less than a month after Dr Waraluck’s death, a public bus struck a motorbike rider who had stopped at a zebra crossing to allow pedestrians to cross. That incident occurred on February 14 in Bangkok and the 37 year old motorbike driver was rushed to hospital with serious back injuries. The bus driver has been charged with reckless driving causing injury.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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