Phuket vice governor announces 5 year goal to cut road deaths in half

The main street, Rim Hat Road, in Kamala in Phuket, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Asia

Phuket’s Vice Governor Anupap announced a 5 year goal for reducing Phuket’s road deaths at a meeting yesterday. Anupap said the goal for 2027 is to have only 12 deaths per 100,000 people. This would mean 41 road deaths a year in Phuket. Last year, Phuket saw 70 road deaths. To meet the 2027 goal, Phuket would have to cut its current road death rate almost in half.

But can it be done? So far this year, as 2022 is halfway through, Phuket has already seen 42 road deaths. Anupap says that changing current realities will require several steps. These include adding clearer traffic markings on roads, more traffic warning signs, and education campaigns.

Local municipalities plan to now hold driver awareness activities every month, Anupap said. The vice governor said these activities will teach drivers what they can lose from undisciplined driving and traffic violations. Once a month, municipalities will inform Phuket’s road safety committee of their efforts. Anupap said other steps needed to reach the goal are…

“Operations such as strict enforcement of the law by responsible officers, and the prosecution of violators for non-compliance with the law to receive the maximum penalty so that drivers strictly comply with the law.”

Anupap’s statement comes after Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced last month that the 2027 goal for Thailand as a whole was to cut road deaths by nearly 2 thirds. Thailand has the ninth highest road death rate in the world, with 32.7 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organisation. As with Phuket, Thailand’s target for 2027 is to cut this number to 12 people per 100,000. The so-called “Vision Zero” goal for 2050, he said, is to completely eliminate traffic fatalities, and severe injuries.

The question remains, how affective will education campaigns, stricter penalties, and more traffic warning signs be in making drivers slow down? After a notorious incident in January when a motorcycle hit and killed an eye doctor at a zebra crossing in Bangkok, a study discovered some grim facts. Two organisations studied how many cars, motorbikes, and public vehicles stop for pedestrians at 12 zebra crossings in Bangkok. They found that altogether, 89% wouldn’t stop.

The public will have to wait and see just how much Anupap and Prayut can change Thailand’s road safety.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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