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Opinion: Better road safety in Thailand begins and ends with better education


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By Thai Enquirer

 

When I first became a driving instructor in the UK in 1989, I read a statement in an advanced driving magazine. That statement is still relevant today – ‘’There is only one thing worse than a bad driver, and that is a bad driver that believes he is a good driver.’’ And why not? After all he or she has passed the driving test. The driving test is, or at least should be a certificate of competence awarded by a government agency authorising the driver to drive on the roads.

 

However, there is much more to road safety than driver training. Much is made of speed when reporting road traffic incidents but speed is only a contributing factor. The real issue is hazard perception. As hazard perception is neither trained or tested, the Thai driving test does not serve the purpose of intent and is therefore not fit for purpose. So, how do we measure success in road safety? To do this we have to look at the countries that lead the world in road safety. These are known as the SUN countries; Sweden, UK and The Netherlands. The success is based upon the 5 E’s; Education, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation and Emergency. Some countries do well in some or even most of these but the chemistry of combining and connecting all is beyond them. Thailand is weak in all Five.

 

Education: This isn’t just learning to drive, theory and practical, it begins when the child first travels in a car and is put in a suitable child seat with a proper restraint. It is a near impossible task to ask a teenager to wear a seatbelt when he or she has sat in a car for 16 plus years watching parents driving without one. A few years ago, I gave a lift to a teacher. He sat in the back of my car. I asked him to put his seatbelt in. 

 

Full story: https://www.thaienquirer.com/36933/opinion-better-road-safety-in-thailand-begins-and-ends-with-better-education/

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Enquirer 2022-01-26

 

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I was taught the importance of route selection.

Even in choosing how to exit a gas station parking lot route selection can be the difference between safety and a wreck.

Sometimes route selection means you start off by taking a right since it is the only safe maneuver and then go around the block to effect a U-turn.

Many times i take issue with my GPS because it chooses an unsafe or less safe turn in order to save a few blocks or a few minutes.

Many drivers only think about "I wanna go that way" and have no thought for a less direct safer route.

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Love the irony that this story was in side bar with the one here immediately below it.

 

 

Edited by Bluespunk
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In my humble opinion, the only way to really improve driving safety in the future is to start at grass roots level. The adult population are too set in their ways to change their bad habits.

The kids need to be made aware that all roads are incredibly dangerous places.

The use shock tactics to make them really sit up and take notice is essential in this. Things like wearing a seat belt or a crash helmet could save their life have to be ingrained into their heads a very early age.

This needs to be done in school using specially trained teachers. They especially need to learn that wearing an amulet or getting your vehicle blessed by a monk counts for nothing when it comes to staying safe on the roads. There is no such thing as divine intervention.

But most important of all. the kids need to know that there is a very strong chance that their parents will have very poor driving skills and under no circumstances should they emulate them in anyway. 

 

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I was driving last night back home on one of the major roads of BKK and was aghast to see how many bike riders without helmets all over the place and red light jumpers galore and all sorts of jungle style driving from many motorists, good luck to anyone who want to "educate" Thai drivers..

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52 minutes ago, morrobay said:

How much education is required to know it is wrong to go through red lights ??  Not all about education 

A red light in Thailand does not mean stop ..as we all know you can turn left on a red light. ,..  but some Don't know left and rights so They even turn right . across all cars stopped at red straight..as  well..

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

The driving test is, or at least should be a certificate of competence awarded by a government agency authorising the driver to drive on the roads.

In Thailand it's a piece of paper purchased at an office. [sometimes]

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4 hours ago, JackGats said:

Ends with "better education"? Then no enforcement. Just "education". Road carnage will go on.

Education never seems to go down well in Thailand.

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As I wrote yesterday already and of course strong enforcement of the law, instead of lazy traffic police checking for taxpayment. Yesterday I drove home and I saw in my rear mirror a car speeding from the left lane over the second to the third. He drove very close on me, but I did not give way, just because there was a car in front of me and on the middle lane there was a car with a boat driving slowly. I thought he could wait a moment. But than a extra lane on my left was free. The idiot passed me and decide to drive in front of me very slowly.. I could not go anywhere because on my right the car with boat was driving and he was "blocking" the road  Suddenly he went to the right and I did not know what to expect and than he decided to leave the highway and when I looked what idiot was driving I saw he gave me his middle  finger... I still don't understand what I did wrong, but he was the one speeding and tailgaiting while I couldn't go anywhere.. Yes education...

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Opinion: Better road safety in Thailand begins and ends with better education

Most cops I see on the road don't have a clue as to basic driving skills.  Basic skills like merging, looking before pulling out, using acceleration and deceleration lanes, yielding right of way, and the list goes on. Bottom line.  Thais don't have the driving skills that Westerners have.  Plus they are aggressive beyond belief.  Nobody has any sense of courtesy.
"Get Out Of My Way - I Number One - Must Get To Where I Go Quick-Quick" 
Oh - and there is no enforcement of traffic laws they might actually have on the books.  Tickets are issued after someone been killed, not proactively. So the carnage will continue forever.  And Hi-So pretty much have a license to kill.

Education?  That implies that there is a Thai in Thailand who has driving skills to teach others.  I don't think those people exist.

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

Education: This isn’t just learning to drive, theory and practical, it begins when the child first travels in a car and is put in a suitable child seat with a proper restraint. It is a near impossible task to ask a teenager to wear a seatbelt when he or she has sat in a car for 16 plus years watching parents driving without one.

Here's the problem with Thailand.  At the end of the day when they create a "Driver Education Course" nobody will learn skill-sets needed for defensive driving - they'll learn not to have extra-martial sex before obtaining a licenses and to make sure to honk the horn three times as you pass a Buddhist status.  And love Thailand and all it's leaders like they are fathers and mothers and respect your parents and older people.
"Good job.  You learn quick-quick.  Now we give you license.  Happy happy."

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Because Thailand excels in education...

 

 

The remedy is JAIL time for even minor infractions.

 

Moreover, those spikes that pop up in the road all around central Bangkok.

 

Something must be done to get the motorcycles off the footpath as well! It's epic.

Edited by TheScience
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Better education is certainly important when it comes to road safety, but people also need to know that they can get caught and fined or jailed when they break the law, so good enforcement by the RTP is essential. And we all know that ain’t never going to happen, unfortunately.

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11 hours ago, Road Warrior said:

and not forget 12 /13 yr old  children riding motor bikes !!!  what road sense have they /???  try nil

Come live in Isan, they are ready for a big bike by that age.

 

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I'd say it starts with education, and ends with strict enforcement of laws (irrespective of wealth, connections and social status).

 

Somewhere in the middle you have the issue of over-confidence, arrogance, impatience, selfishness etc.

 

Good luck fixing all that.

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On 1/26/2022 at 11:04 AM, morrobay said:

How much education is required to know it is wrong to go through red lights ??  Not all about education 

Forget education, genuine common sense is the most important thing of all when you are driving or riding.

The Thai road behavior is all the proof you need to see how much common sense the majority of Thais really have.

Is this a Thai bashing post? Yes! And with good reason.

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On 1/26/2022 at 11:59 AM, ezzra said:

I was driving last night back home on one of the major roads of BKK and was aghast to see how many bike riders without helmets all over the place and red light jumpers galore and all sorts of jungle style driving from many motorists, good luck to anyone who want to "educate" Thai drivers..

My experience is that I felt more safer driving and riding in Bangkok, than in any other Thai city.

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I would take it a step further; Everything begins and ends with a better education......

I am still amazed about the censoring of smokers and drinkers on foreign channels and the daily open shooting and killing around dinner time on Thai channels

Nobody 'up there' seems to understand they are feeding local crime with these images..

 

Guess they try to protect foreigners here, much appreciated... 

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20 hours ago, Road Warrior said:

and not forget 12 /13 yr old  children riding motor bikes !!!  what road sense have they /???  try nil

Probably a lot more then your average unlicenced stupid farang tourist in Pattaya. They are a menace!

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