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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
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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 3,900 radio news bulletins in Thailand alone, hosted 450 daily TV news programs, produced 1,800 videos, TV commercials and documentaries and is now the General Manager and writer for The Thaiger. He's reported for CNN, Deutsche Welle TV, CBC, Australia's ABC TV and Australian radio during the 2018 Cave Rescue.

1 Comment

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    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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