45 killed daily in road accidents in past 10 months

45 killed daily in road accidents in past 10 months

Goal of 664 deaths a year in 2020 still distant

A pickup truck overturns shortly after midnight Friday, killing its 39-year-old  school teacher driver in Ban Khwao district, Chaiyaphum province. (Photo supplied by Makkawan Wannakul)
A pickup truck overturns shortly after midnight Friday, killing its 39-year-old school teacher driver in Ban Khwao district, Chaiyaphum province. (Photo supplied by Makkawan Wannakul)

Road accidents killed 45 people and injured 2,523 each day on average from January to October this year, according to data compiled by the central road accident claims company.

Road Accident Victims Protection Co was jointly set up in 1998 and owned by all insurance companies at the time to ensure quick payments of compulsory compensation to road victims under the 1997 Protection for Motor Vehicle Victims Act.

According to the company’s data in the first 10 months of this year, 13,692 people died and 757,010 were injured in road accidents.

Jarut Visalchit, director-general of the Land Transport Department, said safety measures had been implemented and planned to reduce Thailand's road fatalities to below 10 per 100,000 population, the goal set for next year.

Based on the population of 66.4 million last year, Thailand’s goal of 664 road traffic deaths a year or 1.8 per day on average is a tall order, given the 10-month data.

Mr Jarut said several measures had already been implemented. For instance, public transport vans must use terminals. All public vehicles and lorries must install GPS systems and GPS-based monitoring centres were set up to monitor them for violations.

Online systems on vehicle conditions and their fuel systems were also put in place while more checkpoints were set up at accident-prone spots nationwide, he said.

Public drivers with past records are monitored 24 hours while drivers’ working hours are required to be reported and checked. Drivers must also be tested for alcohol and receive training.

For cargo lorries, twist locks are required to be installed, he said.

Next year, public transport vehicles must be no more than 3.8m high from 4m currently while double deckers must be no more than 4.3m high. Vehicles 3.6m or higher must also pass rollover tests and standards will be set on doors and inerior materials, he said. 

Thailand has the eighth worst record in the world for fatal road accidents, as measured by deaths per 100,000 population, according to the World Health Organization.

The ranking in the most recent WHO survey in 2018 is actually an improvement from the previous two surveys, when the country ranked second, behind only Libya. The survey is conducted every three years.


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