It’s that time of year again… The Thai government has launched its road safety and accident reduction centre, part of its annual road safety campaign for the “7 days of danger” over the New Year holiday. The campaign will run from today until January 4, in an attempt to reduce the carnage as holidaymakers take to the roads. The numbers choosing to use public transport are expected to drop, as a result of the Covid-19 resurgence.
The Bangkok Post reports that Deputy PM, Prawit Wongsuwon, who oversaw the campaign’s launch at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, says traffic rules will be strictly enforced to ensure the public’s safety over the New Year holiday. He is calling on drivers to check the road-worthiness of their vehicles, adding that drivers will be subject to breathalyser tests and that pick-up trucks should not carry more than the permitted number of passengers.
It’s understood the Royal Thai Army has set up over 200 rest stops outside military barracks around the country. The stops are open 24 hours a day and will offer vehicle checks, as well as having staff on hand from military hospitals, who can provide medical assistance if necessary.
Thailand continues to have one of the world’s worst road safety records, with a 2018 World Health Organisation report putting the number of deaths at 22,941 a year, or 62 a day. Speeding, a lack of skill, and lax enforcement of traffic laws are all seen as contributory factors. According to the Thailand Development Research Institute, around 70% of fatalities involve motorbikes.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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