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Road deaths

Thailand’s road carnage is getting worse

Jack Burton



The Thai government is reporting that deaths on Thailand’s roads are getting worse despite efforts to fix the issue.

The secretary of the National Health Security Office gave horrifying statistics for victims of road accidents, but it’s widely believed that these are only a fraction of the actual numbers of those killed, maimed and injured on the Thailand’s roads.

Thailand is one of the worst in the world for fatal road incidents and the World Health Organisation says it is one of the kingdom’s biggest problems.

The secretary of the National Health Security Office, Dr. Sakchai Kanchanawatana, has presented damning statistics for victims of road accidents that accessed funds from the government’s social security scheme. He presented statistics for in-patient care using state insurance for 2015 to 2018.

From 2015 to 2018, 13,861 patients died, including 11,177 bikers. The injured (reported) amounted to 265,243. Of the 265,243 injured 210,963 were motorcyclists. Costs to the insurance scheme exceeded 6 billion baht. The statistics only measure those who accessed the government’s insurance schemes.

• 2015: Injured: 62,773 Dead: 3,509, Cost 1.3 billion baht

• 2016: Injured: 63,981 Dead: 3,486, Cost 1.5 billion baht

• 2017: Injured: 67,517 Dead: 3,440, Cost 1.5 billion baht

• 2018: Injured: 70,972 Dead: 3,426, Cost 1.6 billion baht

These audited figures indicate the trend of a rising road death toll.

In the same period, the number of pedestrians injured was 10,672, with 916 killed. Senior pedestrians were the highest fatality bracket, with the figure dropping for younger citizens. Of the dead and injured, most involved motorcyclists.

Provinces that showed a 20% rise during the reported time period were Bung Kan, Chaiyaphum, Prachinburi, Petchaburi, Trang, Phatthalung, Satun, Patani and Naratiwas. Areas with population increases and tourist areas showed decreases in road deaths.

The actual total road toll for Thailand, annually, is acknowledged to be between 21,000 – 24,000 each year.

SOURCE: Thai Visa | Naew Na


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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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