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Chiang Mai

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

The Thaiger

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

“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.



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Chiang Mai. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Bangkok

Weather for January 16

The Thaiger

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Weather for January 16 | The Thaiger

Bangkok

Morning clouds followed by afternoon sun. High 33ºC. Winds NE at 10 to 15 km/h.

Weather for January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Chiang Mai

Generally clear. High 30ºC. Winds ESE and variable.

Weather for January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Phuket

Afternoon showers. High 31ºC. Winds NNE and variable. Chance of rain 40%.

Weather for January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Ko Samui

Thundershowers. High 25ºC. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 km/h. Chance of rain 40%.

Weather for January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Pattaya

Partly cloudy. High 32ºC. Winds NW at 10 to 15 km/h.

Weather for January 16 | News by The Thaiger

Songkhla

Thunderstorms developing in the afternoon. High 29ºC. Winds ENE at 15 to 25 km/h. Chance of rain 80%.

Weather for January 16 | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai

Missing 14 year old girl now under government care

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Missing 14 year old girl now under government care | The Thaiger

by Kornkamol Aksorndej – The Nation Weekend

A 14 year old girl, reported missing for more than two weeks and later found with an older man in a Chiang Mai apartment, is now under government care.

Pol Maj General Jirabhop Bhuridej of the Crime Suppression Division, says, “We won’t give details about the case. The minor must be protected.”

The girl was found on Thursday with a 52 year old man, who has been confirmed as the father of one of the girl’s friends.

The man, identified only as Ronnachit, is now facing a charge of taking a child younger than 15 years old from her parents.

The girl didn’t contacted her family since December 27, concerning her parents. They feared she might have been abducted and filed a complaint with police in Bangkok last week and sought help from various outlets, including social media.

When police eventually located the girl, she was with ‘Ronnachit’, who said he was going on a sightseeing trip with the girl.

The girl is now under the care of the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

STORY: The Nation

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Chiang Mai

UPDATE: Missing 14 year old teenager found

The Thaiger

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UPDATE: Missing 14 year old teenager found | The Thaiger

The missing 14 year old school girl Tipayarat “Yoyo” Laosuwanpong, reported by her family as a missing person yesterday, has been found safe.

She was found late last night (Thursday) in Chiang Mai. The family are awaiting further details and hoping to reunite with their daughter today.

Police say they’ve detained a 52 year old Chiang Mai man in relation to the case. A Thai newspaper is reporting that the 52 year old’s daughter may be involved in the case.

Yoyo’s father and his sister had only informed the CSD earlier yesterday about the disappearance of Tipayarat, who they say was a bright junior secondary student at Saipanya School.

Before the discovery of Yoyo latest night the girl’s aunt told media her niece was last seen riding in a tuk tuk in Bangkok about 2pm on December 27, and logged in to her Facebook account from the eastern province of Rayong the following day. The family had not been able to contact her since.

Read more about Tipayarat’s disappearance HERE.

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