Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: Remember, Phuket, it’s a long road ahead to road safety

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Phuket’s yet-to-be-observed first marking of the annual World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (story here) needs to serve not only as a memorial to those who have perished on our roads, but also as a reminder that we have a long way to go in raising road safety to something resembling acceptable international standards.

Statistics indicating a fall in the number of road-accident fatalities on the island over the past several years are encouraging. Although the trend is too short to be statistically significant, it is certainly better than a rise in road fatalities.

Equally encouraging is the fact that the annual number of road deaths has fallen despite large year-on-year increases in the number of vehicles on our roads over the same period.

Unfortunately, this is where the good news ends and grim reality rears its ugly head. As the pleas for improved road safety continue, Phuket’s streets remain among the most dangerous not only in Thailand, but in the world.

The Phuket office of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has hit the nail on the head by making local youths the target of their safety-awareness campaign to mark the day. After all, young males on motorbikes – often drunk or otherwise under the influence – make up the single largest demographic of road accident fatalities year in, year out.

However, efforts to raise awareness of the importance of traffic-safety issues across such a thin slice of a society are unlikely to have much effect, especially in a place where reckless behavior among adults is so common.

The list of dangerous driving behaviors that pass as “standard operating procedure” here, but which would be unthinkable in most developed countries, is far too long to list.

Despite so much talk about road safety, the concept of issuing tickets or making arrests for “moving violations” remains a foreign concept. Virtually all fines are issued at fixed “traffic checkpoints”, the location and times of which are easy enough to predict even when not announced in advance, such as during the “Seven Days of Danger” campaigns deployed during holidays.

A good indication of just how bad local driving skills are is the fact that hardly anyone ever uses their horn to shame fellow road users for transgressions of driving etiquette; it is as if it were a lost cause – or they don’t want to be shot.

In many ways, it strikes the Gazette as almost miraculous that the road-fatality rate is as low as it is considering all the mindless mayhem that takes place on our streets. Perhaps this is the silver lining of the ever-increasing traffic on the island.

The Gazette would like to appeal to all Phuket expats to help the cause by setting a good example when driving, rather than adopting the “when in Rome” mentality that has seen so many foreigners returned home in body bags: You have been warned.

 

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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)33 mins ago

Dole pineapple factory has 34 new Covid-19 cases, 413 total

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Chinese Sinovac vaccine debuts in Singapore to high demand

Drugs3 hours ago

Drug smuggler caught in Kalasin with 300 kg of marijuana

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!

Politics4 hours ago

Amendment to reform Constitution rejected by Parliament

Medical5 hours ago

Gender Health Clinic opens in Bangkok for transgender needs

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Tourism11 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics14 hours ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats23 hours ago

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

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World1 day ago

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

Thailand1 day ago

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

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