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Thailand tops road death ranking list

Thailand overtakes Libya on road death rankings

The road death rate in Thailand makes the country surpass other deadliest countries. (Photo by Chanat Katanyu)

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Thailand now tops the rankings as the country with the highest death rate in road accidents, according to one global survey.

Despite government attempts to reduce the number of casualties, a seminar on road safety was told on Monday that Thailand now tops the road death list on the World Atlas website.

"The road death rate in Thailand is a matter of extreme concern as the country now ranks first, surpassing the deadliest country in the last survey, Libya," Thaejing Siripanit, secretary-general of the Don't Drive Drunk Foundation, told the seminar.

He was referring to rankings published in November by the website which gives appraisals on various topics, among them road safety.

World Atlas, which provides online information on travel, society, economics and environment, ranked 30 countries around the world.

Thailand's estimated road traffic death rate (per 100,000 population) stands at 36.2 this year, followed by Malawi (35) and Liberia (33.7).

African countries filled most top-10 slots.

The World Health Organisation, meanwhile, ranks Thailand as the second deadliest country, behind Libya from a survey of 180 countries.

The World Atlas ranking matches death cases in road accidents compiled by the foundation. Last year, up to 22,000 people, or an average of 50 to 60 people a day, died in car crashes, said Dr Thaejing.

A few suggestions to boost road safety were proposed at the seminar. Among them was promoting the use of dashboard video cameras, or "dash cams" in the hope footage of bad driving posted online will deter motorists from driving illegally and unsafely.

Dr Thaejing suggested the government make installing dash cams a priority, believing it will go well with its much-touted Thailand 4.0 policy, which promotes technological advances to improve public services.

The cameras will record all events happening in front of cars. This will make motorists think twice before committing mistakes, he said.

Dr Thaejing said video clips going viral on social media can be a tough punishment. Wrongdoers could face heavy criticism and even lose their jobs.

His foundation wants dash cams fitted in at least 80% of cars.

He said he once proposed the policy to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who expressed enthusiasm for the idea.

However, since Gen Prayut instructed officials to work on a policy plan in May last year, there has been little progress, Dr Thaejing said.

Dr Thaejing questioned the enforcement of laws that have been in effect for many years but which have failed to curb dangerous driving, mainly by drunk drivers. Many Thais are "well aware of the laws but simply ignore them," he said.

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Vocabulary:

appraisal : a judgement of the value, performance or nature of somebody/something - การประเมิน

casualty (noun): victim; someone/ something that has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a bad event such as a disaster or crime (casualties: the number of dead or injured) - เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย; จำนวนคนตายหรือได้รับบาดเจ็บ

concern : a worry - ความกังวล

curb : to control or limit something - จำกัดขอบเขต, ควบคุม

dashboard : the part of the car in front of the driver that the steering wheel of a car is attached to; front console; control panel - แผงหน้าปัดรถยนต์, แผงหน้าปัด

deter : to make someone decide not to do something - ขัดขวาง, ยับยั้ง, ป้องกัน

enforcement : the process of making sure that something happens, especially that people obey a law or rule - การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย

enthusiasm : the feeling of being very interested in something or excited by it - ความกระตือรือร้น

extreme : much more severe or serious than usual - ที่รุนแรงที่สุด

footage : film of a particular subject or event - ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์

ignore : to fail to pay attention to; to pretend that you have not noticed or do not know about something - เพิกเฉย

priority : something important that must be done first or which needs more attention than something else - การมาก่อน

progress : the process of developing or of getting nearer to achieving or completing something - ความคืบหน้า

ranking : the position of somebody/something on a scale that shows how good or important they are in relation to other similar people or things, especially in sport - อันดับ

seminar : a meeting for discussion or training - การสัมมนา

surpass : to do or be better than somebody/something - เหนือกว่า, เก่งกว่า, ดีกว่า, เกินกว่า

tout : to praise someone or something because you want other people to think they are good or important - พูดคุยอวด

viral : (of a video, photo, story, etc.) spread across the internet very quickly (like a virus spreading a disease) as people share it with their friends or the news media reports on it - แพร่กระจายผ่านทางอินเทอร์เน็ตอย่างรวดเร็ว

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