In need of road sense

In need of road sense

This government, like those over the previous two decades, has a strange highway safety plan. Twice a year, one-week "crackdown announcements" precede the New Year periods when more vehicles than usual are on the highways. Allegedly tough enforcement proceeds, as is currently under way. Each time, government measures fail to reduce the shockingly high death toll.

On Friday, having once again failed to save lives on the roads over Songkran, the government will announce preparations to wash, rinse and repeat its failure again, come December. From Labour Day until New Year's Eve, meanwhile, highway traffic and deaths will continue apace without government campaigns. There are no announced plans for a high-level examination as to why the Songkran crackdown failed yet again. There are no current plans to address the obvious need for massive and imaginative changes to current policies that result in so many thousands of preventable highway deaths.

Governments over the past several decades have worked something of a win-win scenario on citizens. In some years, the New Year traffic toll has dropped by a small amount on the previous year. Spokesmen have leapt on this to claim crackdown success. Take the last such period, the "seven dangerous days" from Dec 28, 2017, to Jan 3 of this year. The carnage on the roads from 3,841 traffic collisions claimed 423 lives and injured 4,005 people. The year previous, the figures were 3,899 accidents, 478 deaths and 4,068 people injured.

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