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How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Tim Newton

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How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate? | The Thaiger
It’s a question asked by an article nearly a year ago. Tim Newton ponders if much has changed in the last 12 months….
“In the worst of the incidents, 25 people died on Monday in Chonburi province after a pick-up truck and a minivan collided and burst into flames.
In all, 426 people died on Thailand’s road between Dec 29 and Jan 3, up from 340 in the same period a year earlier.
These words were written nearly a year ago, after the 2016/2017 ‘Seven Days of Danger’. It’s a question one should ask as we’re poised to enter the next set of very dangerous days – days which I’m sure we’ll report and reflect upon with horror and dismay.
How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate? | News by The Thaiger
How can the road toll be curbed, indeed? The more the Government and police seem to try, the higher the toll rises – the key ‘drivers’ of the road toll numbers simply aren’t being addressed. And here we are, as the sun sets on another year, where Thailand has hit the Number One spot in the world, according to ‘World Atlas’.
This accolade is a blight on the Kingdom.
Whilst the top brass flail their arms around deflecting questions about the Deputy PMs haute watch collection and distorted investigations into dead Army cadets, they should be focussing a lot more of their attention on this national disgrace.
Sadly some 500 or so good people won’t be around to celebrate much of 2018 if history repeats itself on Thailand’s roads during the ‘silly season’.
Cambodia may have to relinquish it’s claim to having the ‘Killing Fields’ (referring to the Khmer Rouge purge between 1975-79) and send the title next door. No other term better reflects the situation on our roads.
Shame, shame, shame.
Original article HERE.



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Tim Newton has lived in Thailand since 2012. An Australian, he has worked in the media, principally radio and TV, for nearly 40 years. He has won the Deutsche Welle Award for best radio talk program, presented 3,200 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 360 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and now produces digital media for The Thaiger - Website, Radio, TV, Instagram and Facebook.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. thai roadcraft

    December 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

    The evidence is there. The way forward is clear.
    The problem is that in the way of it is blind dogma and failing initiatives like the UN and WHO’s “Decade of action for road safety”. 7 years gone out of it’s 10, totally focused on helmet and seat-belt compliance. Totally failing to understand the problem.

    It’s easy to see when we look past the dogma. Allow for GDP and the WHO “death’s per 100000 road user” statistics show a clear correlation with the countries who offer the greater amounts of road user education and support, being the ones who have the safest roads. While the ones who prefer to try and enforce safety on their subjects, but not support them through education, are at the bottom.

    Safety cannot be enforced on a system. It’s comes from education and understanding.
    This is being addressed in other safety critical environments such as Aviation, but road safety is still in the dark ages.

    If we look at countries at the opposite ends of the WHO Stat’s but with similar population numbers, then compare Thailand with the UK.
    To ride a small motorcycle up to 125cc in the UK requires completion of a Compulsory Basic Training course. To ride any bigger requires a full licence that on average takes 5 days of training on public highways to get to the required standards. The test includes a 40 minute road ride on public highways while being directed by an examiner riding behind the novice.

    While Thailand requires no such display of these real world skills whatsoever. Until this is addressed the carnage will continue unabated.

    If you want to read more on developing a new approach to Road Safety in Thailand, may I share my blog post on “Buddhism and Safety II” -https://thairoadcraft.wordpress.com/2017/05/03/buddhism-and-safety-ii/

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Bangkok

Dog patiently watches over deceased master on Pathum Thani roadside

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Dog patiently watches over deceased master on Pathum Thani roadside | The Thaiger

A man, who had left home a month ago to live by the roadside with a stray dog in Pathum Thani, has been found dead. The dog was watching over the body when others discovered the deceased man. Pathum Thani is just north of Bangkok.

The deceased has been identified as 45 year old Surachai Khamsue. He was found lying by the side of a road in Moo 2 village in Tambon Klong Nueng, Klong Luang district, beside the old and un-roadworthy pickup that he had been using as a home.

His sister, 40 year old Chalermsri Sohsawaeng, told police that Surachai had left home to live in the car a month ago, and that she and other siblings had given him money to buy food.

Her brother liked to drink alcohol, she added. The body was sent for autopsy at Thammasat University hospital.

Dog patiently watches over deceased master on Pathum Thani roadside | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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Phuket

Motorbike driver dies after slamming into the back of a parked bus, Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorbike driver dies after slamming into the back of a parked bus, Phuket | The Thaiger

A motorbike driver has died after colliding with the rear of a parked bus on the side of the road in Thalang this morning.

Thalang Police say the incident happened at 5am on Sanambin Mueangmai Road (4026) which is about 200 metres from the Thalang Technical College.

Police and emergency responders arrived to find the parked bus. Embedded into the rear panels of the bus they found a motorbike and the body of a Thai man identified as 21 year old Rittchai Taokong. His body was taken to the Thalang Hospital

Thalang Police report that the bus driver, 59 year old Adul Pidjanan, had parked the bus on the side of the road. The motorbike, travelling at high speed, collided with the rear end of the bus.

Police are continuing their investigation and examining available CCTV.

Motorbike driver dies after slamming into the back of a parked bus, Phuket | News by The Thaiger

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Election

Army Chief spits the dummy and orders the playing of military song

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Army Chief spits the dummy and orders the playing of military song | The Thaiger

Contributors Jitraporn Sennawong and Kas Chanwanpen – The Nation

If you’re the Thai Army Chief, and a bit miffed that some political parties are including scaling back military spending in their election policies, what do you do?

Why of course you order Army radio stations in the Kingdom to play a jingoistic, and offensive to many, military-themed song, “Nak Phaendin”.

Angry with politicians proposing a cut in the defence budget, the Thai Army chief General Apirat Kongsompong ordered the ultra-rightist song to be aired every day on 160 Army radio stations across the country.

He later withdrew the order.

The song, also played within military camps and the Army headquarters, was to air twice every day before Apirat had a change of mind. The Army chief reasoned earlier that the anthem broadcast was aimed at encouraging everyone to be “aware of their duties and responsibilities towards the country”.

“All this time, some people have been critical and distorting the truth to create misunderstanding about the work of the government and the Army. So, all units should clarify it using the media in its hands.”

The order was issued yesterday almost immediately after Army top brass told politicians, including Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan from Pheu Thai Party, who are proposing a reduction in the defence budget as one of their policy planks, to “listen to the song”.

The song, titled “Nak Phaendin”, is recorded with a military band and a mocking voice. The title means “burden to the country” and says one who is “worthless” or an “enemy of the nation” should be eliminated.

The song was composed in 1975 by an Army officer and was part of the propaganda used against the communist movement in Thailand. An anthem for a time, place and purpose. Not 2019.

“They criticised the military out of their idiocy. They fell for lies and slander. Let me ask you: Are soldiers hurting or killing or bullying us nowadays? No,” user Sita Piro wrote in a news thread by Nation Weekend.

“The real Scum of the Earth are these soldiers who exploit their uniforms to seek power,” user Pitak Chairungreang wrote in the same thread.

The song features lyrics that condemn any act of treason, including ungratefulness to the monarchy, instigating conflict among Thais and treachery.

In the notorious student massacre on October 6, 1976 at Thammasat University, “Nak Phaendin” was frequently played to justify the crackdown as well as to boost the courage of right-wingers who had engaged in elimination of the alleged threat. Top Army members and leaders of the ruling junta yesterday also appeared protective of the Army’s interests in opposing the policy proposal to reduce the defence budget.

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday openly warned politicians to be mindful of their language during the electoral campaign. If they did not consider reality and the national interest, they would have to take responsibility for their actions one day.

General Prayut is now a ‘politician’ running for electoral office as the prime ministerial candidate for the Palang Pracharat party on March 24. He has refused to stand aside as the country’s PM during the campaign.

Army Chief spits the dummy and orders the playing of military song | News by The Thaiger

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