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Government launches seasonal road safety campaign ahead of New Year holiday

Maya Taylor

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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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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Issan John

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    “… pick-up trucks should not carry more than the permitted number of passengers”

    Yet again … one country, two systems.

    In rural areas pick-ups are often the only way for children to get to school, with pick-ups converted to song-taews (or sam or see taews), as well as for volunteer ‘rescue’ vehicles to operate as effectively as they do.

    If a system’s unsafe, which it is, it needs to be replaced with something better, not just removed leaving a vacuum.

    I’m all for anything that improves Thailand’s appalling driving standards but this achieves nothing apart from highlighting how little the urban elite understand about their own country and providing the BiB with another way of boosting their take.

    • Avatar

      Toby Andrews

      Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 9:59 am

      Ah but the BIB are very badly paid, eh john?
      You wrote it.

  2. Avatar

    James R

    Tuesday, December 29, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Why not have a daily improvement campaign instead of a seasonal one?

    Just make the driving tests harder than the current one which a ten-year-old kid could pass.

    I have seen the test, you drive around a track where there are no other cars, you reverse into a space which is large enough for three cars and you drive around a mini-roundabout.

    It would take a few years for the higher driving standard to filter out but it needs to be done.

    Putting a small plaster over a large wound does not do any good, that is what this seasonal campaign is trying to do.

  3. Avatar

    Ronny

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 7:09 am

    More than two thirds of road deaths are from scooter or motor bike riders usually without a helmet on.
    A govt campaign here and maybe free or subsidised helmets, if it worked, could greatly reduce the shocking Thai road toll.

  4. Avatar

    RA

    Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 9:17 am

    Road side inspection of cars and motorbikes would greatly increase road safety. Especially just checking the the rear lights work on motorbikes. My guess would be that 10-15% of the motorbikes here on Phuket have malfunctioning lights. The laws are in-place however there’s zero enforcement.

  5. Avatar

    Steve

    Friday, January 1, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Maybe a proper road test and then followed up by real law enforcement from the traffic police could help prevent the carnage, just a thought

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