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Almost 11,000 killed on Thai roads so far this year


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Almost 11,000 killed on roads so far this year

By Pongpat Traipipat, 
Krismeth Loho 
The Nation

 

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Foundation chief bares grim statistics in call to promote more safety on roads
 

A MEDICAL student and a 10-year-old girl are among the latest victims of Thailand’s notorious roads after their cars crashed head-on in Si Sa Ket province yesterday morning.

 

The accident killed five people and seriously injured another on a misty day, bringing the spotlight once again on Thailand’s need to promote road safety. 

 

At least 10,794 lives have already been claimed this year, highlighted Dr Taejing Siripanich, secretary-general of the Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation.

 

That figure is not a full count of the dead, Taejing said yesterday. It is based on statistics compiled between January 1 and October 21, and takes into account only deaths recorded at the actual accident scene.

 

“This means road fatalities are actually higher because some victims succumb to injuries later in hospital.” 

 

He felt compelled to speak out after several major road accidents over the past weekend. On Sunday, a van skidded off a road, crashed into a roadside tree and caught fire in Kamphaeng Phet province, killing nine Myanmar workers and injuring six others including a Thai driver. 

 

Also on Sunday, a car banged into the railing of a bridge in Ayutthaya province, killing six. Another car, meanwhile, plunged into a creek in Nong Khai province, killing four. 

 

In Khon Kaen province, a bus carrying 32 people overturned on a road. Though all victims were quickly rushed to hospitals, one died during hospitalisation. The lone fatality, Narin Wangcharoen, 20, was a law student at Mahasarakham University. 

 

“Her family will receive Bt650,000 compensation,” Khon Kaen Governor Somsak Changtragul said.

 

As of press time, eight victims remained hospitalised due to serious injuries. “Two of them are in critical condition,” he said after visiting the victims. According to Somsak, the bus was covered by insurance and carried the legally required safety equipment. The bus driver also passed a blood-alcohol test.

 

“So, the accident might have occurred because of the slippery road,” he said. 

 

Land Transport Department director-general Peerapol Thavornsupa-charoen said the van at the centre of the fatal road accident in Kamphaeng Phet, however, had apparently violated laws. “Laws prohibit a van from carrying more than 14 passengers. But at the time of the accident, this van had 15 persons,” he noted. 

 

According to Peerapol, 55-year-old van driver and owner Promwat sae Phu will be fined Bt55,000, and slapped with 180-day suspension of his driving licence plus a six-month suspension of his operating licence.

 

Peerapol said if Promwat was also found to have deliberately jammed the van’s GPS system, he would face an additional fine of Bt55,000. Authorities use data from GPS devices to check the speed of public-transport vehicles. However, the van’s GPS system had not delivered consistent data, raising suspicions that Promwat may have been speeding at the time of the Sunday morning accident.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30356972

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2018-10-23
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If you want safer roads, you need police to patrol, deter bad drivers and enforce existing laws fairly.

 

Unfortunately, the police do not do that; until they do, nothing will change.

 

11,000? Is that all? I would have guessed higher.

 

Thousand and thousands more needless deaths are coming; stop being surprised.

 

 

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation.

 

They should give the Drink Drive Foundation a chance with their own campaign.

 

Their results couldn't possibly be any worse.

 

 

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It stars with those in positions of decision making power caring enough about the issue... it’s clear that now they don’t care enough as is doesn’t directly impact them...

 

Chsnge that, create a way that those in positions where policy can be impacted and we may see some inroads being made towards the slack manner inwhich Thailand’s roads are not only policed, but designed & maintained and better measures taken to ensure it’s driving population is adequate educated in safe use of the roads.

 

A whole cultural shift is required which needs to be started from the top and followed through on.

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3 hours ago, webfact said:

Thailand’s notorious roads

the roots are cultural; thai's lack of respect for orderliness , embodied in this case as laws, and lack of respect for others are a deadly combo

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Half of the Bangkokians still doesn't wear a helmet and the other half still doesn't have a driverslicense it seems. And the police still does nothing at all....so it's no surprise.

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1 hour ago, Samui Bodoh said:

If you want safer roads, you need police to patrol, deter bad drivers and enforce existing laws fairly.

No doubt, driving/riding here has truly become a teeth grinding affair.

Those who have the ability to make the roads safer here have their a$$es covered. Simply put everyone with a uniform out there to clear & block all roads several hours before they roll.

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19 minutes ago, sweatalot said:

I just looked up the number of traffic deaths in Germany 2017 - it was 3177 the whole year. Same number of population

Reading World Bank figures Germany has a population about 15 million more than Thailand so the figures are even worse.

My home country, the UK, has only a few million less than Thailand and the official death toll in 2017 was 1710.

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Police road blocks merely stop drivers and make them more impatient; then they drive off in a frenzy.  Nothing will change till the police see their role as saving lives and not lining their pockets.

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8 minutes ago, edwinchester said:

My home country, the UK, has only a few million less than Thailand and the official death toll in 2017 was 1710.

Yes but most of our fellow Brits have learned that pressing harder in the accelerator is not a substitute for the break pedal .........................if it's working.

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“However, the van’s GPS system had not deliveredconsistent data, raising suspicions that Promwat may have been speeding at the time of the Sunday morning accident.”

 

So, rather than investigate this before the crash, wait until afterwards and let nine people die. If the driver had been suspended those nine people might still be alive. 

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17 minutes ago, mikebell said:

Police road blocks merely stop drivers and make them more impatient; then they drive off in a frenzy.  Nothing will change till the police see their role as saving lives and not lining their pockets.

One answer to this is to pay them a salary that they will be afraid to lose.  Pay peanuts, get monkeys.

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2 hours ago, Darcula said:

They should give the Drink Drive Foundation a chance with their own campaign.

Their results couldn't possibly be any worse.

This privately produced Thai video has been around for over a year:

 

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Even the Thai spokesman admits the road toll stats are rubbish.  Fake news as usual.

Road toll in Thailand pp is among the worst in the world even China with WW1  death/injury stats is faring better.

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And why are these drivers speeding in the first place? The primary reason is the toy police force. Nobody, and I mean nobody takes these guys seriously. There is absolutely nothing in the way of a deterrent here, and both the local governments, the central government (weak Little P.) and the police do not take traffic safety seriously. Not even one iota. The safety of the public means less than zero to the small men in charge here. Nothing. They show that on a daily basis.

 

They will not do a thing. Why? They do not care about the people one iota. Not the common people. Not the average pleb. No way. Never have cared, and may never care in the future. It is all about protecting the elite, the super wealthy, those that are connected, and those in power. The rest of the population? They do not matter. The ex-pat community does not matter. And the police will not get involved unless an accident has already occurred. There is no prevention. None. The idea of getting the police more involved, is an interesting one, and it would be an effective one. But, the issue is money. They are grossly underpaid, and until the government steps up, and spends the trillion baht on updating the police equipment, and paying each cop a living wage, it is not going to happen. Until then, they will just work the franchise. 

 

When I was growing up, we took drivers education classes. They showed us these horrendous films, of semi trucks crashing into cars, and literally obliterating them, and everything inside. Also, they showed very graphic images of head on collisions. Even as a young kid, it left a lasting impression, and I realized driving was no joking matter. Especially when you have your friends, or loved ones in the car with you. I am constantly astonished at the kinds of chances people take here, with their entire family in the car with them. Why? What is the logic? What is the reason? Why take those risks? Often, when someone cuts onto the highway in front of me, as I am doing 100kpm or more on the highway, I look in my rearview mirror, and there is nobody behind me for quite some distance. Which means, had they paused, and waited 2 or 3 seconds, there would have been zero risk to them, their family, or me and my family. What can one even say? All of this matters even more when driving a motorbike, where there is no protection. 

 

The only way to survive here on the road, is to be patient, have eyes in the back of your head, drive with caution, and always, and I mean always watch out of the other guy. Chances are, he does not have much driving skill, nor patience, nor reason, nor common sense. You cannot be too careful on the road here. Especially considering that the toy police offer no traffic safety, nor enforcement of the law. 

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One word - stupid. That's what comes to mind.

 

Slippery roads? Slow down. Faulty brakes/tyres? Have them checked/repaired/changed. Every single excuse reeks of one thing - the incompetence of the idiot behind the wheel. And charging the van-driver for overloading? If that git drove carefully, people wouldn't have died even if there were passengers ON THE ROOF! Not that I condone overloading, but the fact is, it's just like speed. Speed itself doesn't really kill, it's suddenly coming to a halt that does.

 

Let's face it - Thais just can't drive. And the sooner they start realising this and becoming more self-critical, instead of hiding behind that face-saving crap and blaming everything else as the cause of a crash, more lives can be saved.

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I could not agree with Spider Monkey more. The police are part of a countrywide, and culturally archaic franchise. Thailand is about Lords and Serfs, with expats caught somewhere in the middle. Expats are a ghost community, useful fools, convenient ATMs cum social ladders, but have never gotten and will never get the recognition, rights and respect most deserve. I live in the North, every year I feel more and more threatened when I drive. Just a simple trip to 7-11 feels like a journey to Mordor. I have small children and have issued strict prohibitions about using motorbikes or taking buses. Still, behind my back, my wife will sometimes pile the kids onto a motorbike for a short local drive. I wonder, what is a one to do against such irresponsibility and downright suicidal tendencies? Is the land of ruddy smiles becoming the land of bloody miles? 

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Wearing seat belts is dangerous and motorcycle helmets messes up my hair, driving as fast as possible to the next stop light is the rule of the road. Cutting in traffic and swerving is a normal way of driving. Blocking half a lane to get in traffic is every ones right. Even the motorcycle police have riders wearing no helmets. Wild West on the roads, everyone Loves It! 

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Apologies slightly off topic but never fails to amaze

 

Why do people on motorbikes mainly,  turn right from the left hand side of the road it seems suicidal for all concerned especially if you are the one over taking the "special challenged one "

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