How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

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buksida
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How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by buksida » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:35 am

THAILAND’s already dismal road safety record sank to new lows over the New Year holiday period as more than 400 people lost their lives in traffic accidents.

In the worst of the incidents, 25 people died on Monday in Chonburi province after a pick-up truck and a minivan collided and burst into flames.

In all, 426 people died on Thailand’s road between Dec 29 and Jan 3, up from 340 in the same period a year earlier.

“Unfortunately the number of fatalities has increased despite a campaign from the government and law enforcement to increase safety,” government spokesman Weerachon Sukondhapatipak told Reuters.

“Road safety is something we will have to continue working on continuously and not just during the new year period.”

Often dubbed the ‘seven days of death’, the New Year period is an annual blot on the country’s already abysmal road safety record.

Last year, the World Health Organization reported that Thailand was second only to Libya in terms of per capita road fatalities with an estimated average of 66 deaths a day in 2012 — about 24,000 in total, far higher than the official figure of 14,059.

Further, up to a million people are thought to be injured on Thailand’s roads each year.

If anything, the situation has deteriorated since 2012. In April last year, 442 people died on Thailand’s roads during the festive Songkran week, the highest death toll in 10 years.

While the current ruling junta inherited this problem, it has failed so far to effectively address the issue despite a number of measures, including increased enforcement, awareness campaigns, and even free food.

So far, it does not appear to be working.

In a typically knee-jerk reaction to the horrific incident in Chonburi, the junta has mooted a ban on minivans, a measure unlikely to have any real impact.

While minivan drivers have a reputation for reckless driving and driving dangerously long distances at a time, they are just a small part of a very large problem.
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Big Boy » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:54 am

We keep saying it, the answer is simple. Proper policing of roads (I've seen 3 police officers in 2 days wearing officers peaked hats rather than helmets whilst riding their motorcycles around town); and penalties that are a deterrent, and will hurt those caught. The current enforcement is a joke.

OK, it won't stop everybody, but hopefully the threat of being caught will help considerably.

Maybe increase BIB salaries to decrease the need for tea money.
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Nereus » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:25 am

To me it is nothing to do with laws, enforced or otherwise. It is in the psyche of the entire population.
It is partly the "mai pen rai" attitude to everything, and partly to do with Buddhist beliefs, and we do not need to go there.

Take the blasé attitude to electricity as an example. Yes, most times it just one person that dies, but every now and again we see a whole bunch of people killed because of the fault of one. And just like traffic laws, there are rules and regulations, and just like traffic laws they are ignored.

It will take an entire generation and a HUGE change in the dismal education system to even start to change. As a Farang would you allow you 12 or 14 year old to ride a motorbike to school, usually with 3 or 4 of his mates on board with him?
I doubt that you would, but here it is seen as a god given right!
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Bristolian » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:40 am

Nereus wrote:To me it is nothing to do with laws, enforced or otherwise. It is in the psyche of the entire population.
I think that it's a combination of both. Because enforcement of laws is so lax people simply can not be bothered to comply. The laws are not enforced because of piss poor policing, inconsistent enforcement and the lure of tea money when it suits.

I totally agree however that education is the only answer and thereafter making offenders comply by stiff penalties. As you say this will not happen over night and will take a generation or so until things really change. Until then the Darwin effect will continue, unfortunately, often, taking the innocent with the idiots as collateral damage
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by hhinner » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:48 am

^^ The Darwin effect doesn't seem to be working. Probably because Thais are different. They say.

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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by hhinner » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:52 am

1. Get a police force. 2. Proper education.

Thai administrators and politicians can surely achieve this in 90 days tops. As usual.

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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Gregjam » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:02 pm

The answer to the "how" aspect of the question is easy. Can Thailand curb it's appalling road fatality rate is more the question. Unlikely in the near future for reasons already stated.

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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by StevePIraq » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:23 pm

Australia used to have strong drink drive culture where it was quite accepted to get pissed and drive. The answer was simple. Mass policing, road blocks everywhere especially on Friday evenings and even Saturday and Sunday morning, breathalyzer's, massive fines, immediate loss of your driving license with bans for up to 3 years, even confiscation of vehicles.
If people really suffer they will comply, they will have no choice. In Thailand there is no will to enforce laws, increase penalties etc., damn over this Christmas period fines were even reduced, how can one give respect to a government like this. Over the Christmas and Songkran periods penalties should be increased 100 fold with no exceptions.
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by hhinner » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:30 pm

^^ Ah! No exceptions. Don't you know who I am?

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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by StevePIraq » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:35 pm

OK just one exception for a very special person :bow: :bow:
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by buksida » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:46 pm

I've never understood why they dont have unmarked patrol cars assigned to certain sections of highway (where most of the fatal accidents occur) pulling over and issuing heavy fines to ...

Vehicles excessively speeding (120kph +)
Aggressive and dangerous driving/flashing/undertaking/tailgating
Slow ten wheelers staying in the outside lane
Busses staying in the outside lane, especially convoys
Decrepit old pickups loaded with durian sitting in the outside lane doing 40kph
Pulling dangerous u-turns causing others to anchor on the brakes
Swerving across lanes with no signals
Driving the wrong way up the highway
Minivans driving like nutters

They could swap cars so drivers dont get to know them and each tambon/amphur would make a mint. Hit them where it hurts - in the pocket.
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Nereus » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:12 pm

hhinner wrote: Thai administrators and politicians can surely achieve this in 90 days tops. As usual.
But but but but, they have many more important things to attend to.
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Nereus » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:21 pm

The following is probably worth reading, but we already know most of it.
....................................................................................................

http://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opin ... -privilege

Road safety is our right, not a privilege
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Big Boy » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:53 pm

Nereus wrote:To me it is nothing to do with laws, enforced or otherwise. It is in the psyche of the entire population.
It is partly the "mai pen rai" attitude to everything, and partly to do with Buddhist beliefs, and we do not need to go there.
I disagree. Enforce the laws and impose realistic penalties - its the only way.

Yes, I know everybody likes it the way it is - 200 Baht and you're on your way. Thailand's policing is a farce.

Make the penalty for the most basic offence 10,000 Baht and confiscation of vehicle + points on licence, leading to a ban. People will then think twice about:

- No helmet
- Riding in wrong direction
- Drinking and driving
- No licence
- Underage
- I could go on, but we all know the score

That is the only way you will improve it. You are talking education - they'd soon learn when they have to walk home.
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Re: How can Thailand curb its appalling road fatality rate?

Post by Nereus » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:11 pm

I disagree. Enforce the laws and impose realistic penalties - its the only way.
Yes, I know everybody likes it the way it is - 200 Baht and you're on your way. Thailand's policing is a farce.
You miss my point, Big Boy. It is the old story of the fox taking care of the hen house. It is completely alien for one Thai to impose a penalty on another.
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