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Conference reports on Phuket’s drop in road death stats

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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In the decade previous, 1997-2006, Phuket was among Thailand’s five worst provinces in terms of death and injury resulting from road accidents.

The dramatic reduction in accidents and casualties has been credited to a focus on accident-prone locations (where crashes were cut by 30 per cent), strict law enforcement using speed guns, breathalysers and cameras at intersections (leading to 10 times more drunk drivers arrested in 2016), and an efficient network of multidisciplinary emergency response teams.

The government meanwhile has ordered additional efforts in safety management, road infrastructure, vehicle safety and post-crash care and remedial measures.

Thai Health Promotion Foundation held a conference as a part of the WHO (World Health Organization) SEA (South East Asia) Meeting on Accelerating Actions for Implementation of Decade of Action for Road Safety at Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa.

The conference held yesterday (November 30) gathered heads from various organisations to discuss and survey the progress of Phuket road safety measures.

The team visited Kwang road (connecting Choafa West and Chaofa East Roads) where modern technology equipment is installed such as red lights camera, speed gun and TEMA (Traffic- law Enforcement Mobile Application). During the visit, Phuket Provincial Police reported about their progress while Vachira Phuket Hospital reported about their study on Emergency Medical Systems (EMS).

The Head of Inspector General of the Ministry of Public Health, Doctor Suppakij Siriluck, said that the WHO has raised road safety as an urgent agenda item from 2011 – 2020 and each member country has to make it an important issue to reach the goal of reducing 50% of casualties on the road within 2020 by following the 5 pillars – management, road infrastructure, vehicle safety, driver safety and medical & treatment.

“According to the Road Safety Policy Foundation, the report of casualties from road accidents gathered from Royal Thai Police, death certificates and Medical Certificate of Cause of Dead from the Interior Ministry, Public Health Ministry and Road Accident Victims Protection Company Limited in 2016, there were 22,356 Thai casualties from road accidents which is 34.4 people per 100,000 inhabitants. 75% of these statistics are 15 – 29 year old men while there are approximately 500 new disabled people from road accidents a year and 42 families that lose a family member daily. Also, there are about 15 new families daily that have to take care of a family member who became disabled from road accidents which causes a domestic economic loss valued at more than 2 hundred billion Baht per year,” he said.

Conference reports on Phuket's drop in road death stats | News by Thaiger

“Though the overall problem hasn’t reduced nationwide, according to the local records, some areas have already reduced 50% of casualties on the road such as Phuket. Phuket is the model of Thailand road safety management as well.”

Meanwhile, the Manager of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation Fund, Doctor Supreeda Adulyanon, said that Phuket used to be in the top 5 of road casualties in the nation, losing 200 – 400 people a year. However, after the work of the associated network of integrated professions, Phuket road safety has been improved and the casualties from road accident had been reduced 50% in the past 10 years.

“The reduction comes from concrete law enforcements, such as helmets and drink and drive campaigns. The road safety has got the support from local organisations as well as private sectors overseas in providing alcohol and speed detection equipment. The amount of drink and drive checks and prosecutions has increased 10 times and in 2016, Phuket reduced injuries 3.5 % and deaths 8.8% from road accidents. These results prove that the local management is key. If the local management across the country is done correctly Thailand will no more be the top 10 of highest road accident in the world.”

Conference reports on Phuket's drop in road death stats | News by Thaiger

(We note that, despite the quoted statistics, Thailand is not just in the op Ten in the world but in fact number 2 with only Libya ahead of Thailand in reported road deaths, per capita.)

 

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