Connect with us

Chiang Mai

Halving Thailand’s road toll by 2020 – The impossible dream

Thaiger

Published 

 on 

“The WHO report points out that progress has been made in certain areas, such as legislation. But it has not been fast enough to meet the UN goal of halving road traffic deaths between 2016 and 2020.”

Thailand draws world attention for its amazing scenery, vibrant foodie scene, raunchy nightlife and local festivals. It also draws attention for all the wrong reasons – mostly its infamous death toll on the roads.

CNN has done a special report about Thialand’s road carnage and looks into the reasons the Land of Smiles continues to rank in the WHO (World Health Organisation) Top 10 most dangerous places in the world to drive.

The article says that driving in Thailand can be a hair-raising experience at the best of times, but during the country’s so-called “seven dangerous days” over the New Year holiday motorists take their lives in their hands.

“Efforts to crack down on the causes of those crashes – drunk driving, corrupt cops and general weak enforcement of traffic laws – have so far proved ineffective. Between December 27 and January 2, a total of 463 people died in 3,791 traffic accidents, pretty much on par with last year’s 423 deaths, according to the country’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.”

The WHO estimates 22,941 people die each year in traffic-related incidents in Thailand, making its roads the deadliest in Southeast Asia and ninth most dangerous, per capita, in the world.

“That’s an average of 62 deaths every day, according to the WHO’s 2018 report on global road safety — just slightly fewer than the average deaths over the New Year period of 66 per day.”

The article notes that the vast majority of those deaths – 73% – are riders of motorcycles. Once this year’s Seven Days of Danger numbers were tallied up this week, the percentage for motorcycle deaths was 80% of the total toll.

Two main issues drive the horrendous and shameful toll – drink driving and speed. The statistics for these two main causes dominate the deaths everywhere in the country.

Sadly, many Thais still think nothing of having a night out with friends or a few beers after work and then jumping on their motorbike or into their car and driving. The lack of responsibility in this area remains breathtaking for many foreigners who have been educated over the past two generations to view drink driving as an avoidable social problem. Poor education in the use of alcohol within families and communities drives the high domestic violence numbers as well as the drink driving statistics.

These local habits are often picked up by expats and tourists accounting for plenty of additional deaths outside the local population.

Speed, coupled with some poor roads and a lack of driver education and training, also fuels the numbers. Until the last few years, a speed limit sign was a rare sight on Thai roads. That is changing but CNN notes that enforcement of those speed limits and road rules remains a challenge.

“The Interior Ministry’s Road Safety Thailand unit said the majority of deaths during this New Year period (41.5%) were caused by drunk driving and 28% by speeding. The northern province of Chiang Mai, which reported the second largest number of incidents this New Year period, with 16 deaths, is a case in point.”

In many areas of Chiang Mai, like most other provinces, it seems the traffic stops and checkpoints remain more about making money than road safety. CNN reports that is common to see drivers in Chiang Mai being stopped by police for failing to produce a driving license or wear a helmet, only to jump back on their bikes and drive away once they’ve paid a “fine”.

Read the rest of the CNN special article on the Thai road toll HERE.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Expats6 hours ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World12 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand12 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs12 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand13 hours ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport13 hours ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of13 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Tourism14 hours ago

Krabi schedules 82 flights per week from late October

Best of14 hours ago

Top 6 Online Forums in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 3,058 new cases; provincial totals

Thailand14 hours ago

Worker falls off roof in Chon Buri, sustains multiple injuries

Phuket15 hours ago

Talad Kaset market in Phuket reopens

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

PM Prayut tests negative after parliament maid has Covid-19

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending