Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has insisted it is everybody's responsibility to maintain safety on the roads as this year's "Seven Dangerous Days" over the New Year festival draw near.
"Is it correct to have the government take sole responsibility for the job?" Gen Prayut asked yesterday during a speech marking the launch of the annual campaign to reduce the road death toll over the holiday period.
The Interior Ministry has set Dec 27 to Jan 2 as the Seven Dangerous Days for closer surveillance on the nation's roads. Police have been ordered to set up checkpoints while transport officials will ensure public vehicle drivers are fit to drive and their buses and vans are in good condition.
"Everyone must be responsible for the prevention of accidents too," Gen Prayut stressed.
Drink driving has historically been the top cause of accidents, but legal measures alone are not enough to put the brakes on reckless driving, Gen Prayut said. Some drivers are not drunk, but they cause accidents due to the atmosphere of "fun and impetuousness", he said.
During the Seven Dangerous Days last year, the number of road deaths stood at 463 countrywide, with the highest number of fatalities in the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima.
Gen Prayut wants to see much lower figures this year.
The premier cited the UN-sponsored 2010 Moscow Declaration, in which 140 countries including Thailand committed to reducing their road death toll to fewer than 10 in 100,000 people by 2020.
"I want to attain this goal as soon as possible," he said.
The toll in Thailand is among the highest, at above 32 per 100,000.