Great traffic laws, even greater if enforced | Bangkok Post: learning

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Great traffic laws, even greater if enforced

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Only 27% obey motorcycle helmet law. If more traffic laws enforced, then fewer injuries & deaths. Accidents now under-reported. 

The mangled wreckage of a bus involved in a collision with an 18-wheel truck early yesterday morning in Surat Thani (16-09-2012). Two people were killed and 20 seriously injured in the accident. Police said the truck driver cut in front of the speeding bus which slammed head-on into the rear end of the truck. The bus’s front cabin was crushed by the powerful collision.

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Local News

WHO urges Thailand to enforce traffic laws

9/11/2012

Police inspect a motorcycle belonging to Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert of Thong Lor police station and a Ferrari driven by Vorayuth Yoovidhya, the youngest son of Red Bull executive Chalerm Yoovidhya, following the accident.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged Thailand to strengthen the enforcement of traffic regulations to improve road safety.

Even though the country has some of the best accident prevention laws in the region, they are not being enforced, according to Ho Yong Kim, the UN agency's representative in Thailand.

For example, she said, while most communities have a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour, it is seldom obeyed by motorists.

As well, the seatbelt law does not cover back-seat passengers, especially children, and only 27% of the people comply with the motorcycle crash helmet law, she said.

She also appealed to law enforcement authorities to increasingly clamp down on drunk driving.

In its Global Status Report on Road Safety 2009, the WHO reported that Thailand had 12,492 road traffic fatalities, or a ratio of 19.6 deaths per 100,000 people. That placed the country 73rd among 177 countries and territories surveyed. Eritrea topped the list with a ratio of 48.4.

Dr Wittaya Chartbanchachai, the head of the provincial accident prevention committee, said the WHO data gave a clear indication that Thailand was not very serious about reducing traffic accidents, even though it had previously planned a Road Safety Promotion Decade (2011-2020) campaign.

Many drivers still fail to follow the traffic laws, he said.

Abbot of Wat Sothorn in Chachoengsao is seriously injured and hospitalized after the vehicle he travels in crashes into a six-wheel truck in Plaeng Yao district, Chachoengsao. Four other people are also injured in the accident. (10-10-2012)

Dr Wittaya called for the government to allocate more funding to raise the safety standard on roads, tunnels and bridges. There were still many dangerous routes, mainly in the North, where there are many accidents.

The rate of traffic-related deaths in the country is relatively high and campaigns to address this must be carried out at the provincial level for improved safety to be successful at the national level.

"The first thing that must be done is to upgrade the accident database so that it is more accurate in order to raise the public awareness," said Dr Wittaya.

There are still inconsistencies between the official figures and those reported by the media, he added.

The most recent Thai National Status Report on Road Safety was compiled in 2011 as recommended by WHO. It showed that the three provinces with the highest number of traffic-related deaths per 100,000 people were Chanthaburi (67.79), followed by Nakhon Pathom (48.93) and Ubon Ratchathani (44.55).

When the severity of accidents is gauged, measured from the number of deaths relative to the total number of people involved, Nakhon Nayok has the worst record, followed by Prachuap Khiri Khan and Samut Songkhram.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Local News, WHO urges Thailand to enforce traffic laws, 9/11/2012, link)


Traffic Law Vocabulary

traffic - the cars and other vehicles traveling through a place; transportation, transit การจราจร
traffic laws  

many drivers still fail to follow the traffic laws

accident - when something unexpected happens and people are hurt or killed อุบัติเหตุ, เหตุที่เกิดขึ้นโดยไม่คาดคิด, ความบังเอิญเป็น
traffic accident - when a car, truck or bus hits another vehicle or some object with injuries, deaths and property damage, traffic collision (See Wikipedia)

severity - how bad something is ความรุนแรง
the severity of accidents

prevention - the act of stopping something from happening or things that people do to stop it from happening
accident prevention laws

safe (adjective) -  ปลอดภัย
safety (noun) - ความปลอดภัย

road traffic safety - methods and measures for reducing the risk of a person using the road network being killed or seriously injured. The users of a road include pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, their passengers, and passengers [on] buses and trams. Best-practice road safety strategies focus upon the prevention of serious injury and death crashes in spite of [the common mistakes that people make]" (See Wikipedia)

standard - a level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน
safety standard
raise the safety standard

enforce (verb) - to make sure laws are obeyed
enforcement (noun) - making sure a law is obeyed and punishing people if it is not obeyed  การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย

enforce traffic laws
the laws are not being enforced

seatbelt - safety belt, a belt worn by people traveling in a car to prevent "harmful movement that may result during a collision or a sudden stop. A seat belt reduces the likelihood and severity of injury in a traffic collision by stopping the vehicle occupant from hitting hard against interior elements of the vehicle or other passengers (the so-called second impact), by keeping occupants positioned correctly for maximum benefit from the airbag, if the vehicle is so equipped, and by preventing occupants being ejected from the vehicle" (See Wikipedia)
seatbelt law

World Health Organisation (WHO) - the UN agency that deals with world health problems and issues (See Wikipedia)

urge - advise someone very strongly about what action should be taken วิงวอน
WHO urges Thailand to enforce traffic laws

regulations - rules made by the government to control how some activity is done   ข้อบังคับ ระเบียบ กฎระเบียบ
traffic regulations

improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
improve road safety

urged Thailand to strengthen the enforcement of traffic regulations to improve road safety

representative -  ตัวแทน,  ผู้แทน
the UN agency's representative in Thailand

communities -  ชุมชน

limit - a highest or lowest amount
speed limit - the fastest you can legally drive your car

seldom -
not often แทบจะไม่, ไม่ค่อยจะ, หายาก
obey -
follow a rule, law or order (do what it tells you to do)
seldom obeyed - a rule, law or order not often followed (people pretend it does not exist)

motorists -
drivers, people driving cars and other vehicles
seldom obeyed by motorists


while most communities have a speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour, it is seldom obeyed by motorists

cover -
include
the seatbelt law does not cover back-seat passengers, especially children

comply - to obey a rule or law or do what someone asks you to do ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, etc.)
helmet - a strong hard hat that covers and protects the head หมวกกันน็อก

only 27% of the people comply with the motorcycle crash helmet law

authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)
law enforcement authorities

clamp down on
- stop some illegal activity, enforce the law
drunk driving -
the crime of driving when you are drunk (See Wikipedia)
clamp down on drunk driving

fatalities - the number of people who died
ratio - one number divided by another number, one number as a percentage of another number (to give an idea of relative size)

Thailand had 12,492 road traffic fatalities, or a ratio of 19.6 deaths per 100,000 people

surveyed
177 countries and territories surveyed

serious about ...
serious about reducing traffic accidents

clear
- easy to understand
indication - a sign that something happened, is true or exists เครื่องบ่งชี้

a clear indication
give a clear indication

data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
the data gave a clear indication that ...

not very serious about ...
not very serious about reducing traffic accidents

 the WHO data gave a clear indication that Thailand was not very serious about reducing traffic accidents

campaign - a long series of events staged to achieve a goal or to promote something (for example, an "anti-smoking campaign") การรณรงค์
a Road Safety Promotion Decade (2011-2020) campaign

allocate - to officially give something to someone จัดสรร, จัดแบ่ง to officially give out an amount of or share of something แบ่งส่วน
funding - money given for a particular purpose; money to a program so it can operate; the money you get to support a project การให้เงินสนับสนุน
allocate more funding to ...

allocate more funding to raise the safety standard on roads

rate -  อัตรา
the rate of traffic-related deaths in the country is relatively high

address - to try to deal with a problem or question จัดการกับปัญหา
campaigns to address (a problem)

national - the whole country
at the national level  - in or for the whole country
carried out - done in or for the whole country

carried out at the provincial level - done in the provinces
carried out at the national level - done for the whole country

campaigns to address this must be carried out at the provincial level for improved safety to be successful at the national level.

upgrade - improve; make new, modern, and up-to-date
upgrade the accident database

database - a large amount of information stored in a computer in an organised way ฐานข้อมูล
the accident database

awareness - the state of knowing about something การรับรู้, การทราบ
raise awareness - make more people know about something that is important

public awareness - whether everyone in a country (or society) knows about something important
raise public awareness

accurate - correct, exact and without any mistakes ถูกต้อง, แม่นยำ

upgrade the accident database so that it is more accurate in order to raise the public awareness

official - approved by the government or some authority ที่เป็นทางการ
figures - statistics, numbers
official figures - numbers or statistics reported by the government  

media - radio, television, newspaper, the Internet, considered as a group สื่อ
figures reported by the media

there are still inconsistencies between the official figures and those reported by the media

compile - to gather and bring together information from many different places to one place (such as a book, article or web page, etc) 
the most recent Thai National Status Report on Road Safety was compiled in 2011

gauge - measure วัดขนาด (ความยาว, ความสูง, ความเร็ว ฯลฯ)
the severity of accidents is gauged

measure - measure วัดขนาด (ความยาว, ความสูง, ความเร็ว ฯลฯ)
X relative to Y - X compared to Y

the severity of accidents is measured from the number of deaths relative to the total number of people involved,

worst -  เลวที่สุด
record - the list of things that this person or organization has done in the past or that has happened to it, also called "history" or "background" ประวัติ

has the worst record -
has the worst history of this ....
Nakhon Nayok has the
worst record

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