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Thread: Thailand braced for road carnage
27-12-03, 09:13 AM #1
Thailand braced for road carnage
From correspondents in Bangkok
December 24, 2003
THAI authorites were bracing Wednesday for a surge in road deaths over the New Year holiday but hope an awareness campaign and heightened traffic safety will keep the toll from topping last year's 562 deaths and 32,000 injuries.
The health ministry has launched an anti-drunk-driving campaign as well as a 24-hour telephone hotline for travelers, while police kickstarted their own special traffic management plan for the holiday.
"We hope these measures will ensure this year's accidents are not as high as last year's," said ministry spokesman Nitaya Chanruang Mahabhol.
The carnage 12 months ago saw an average of four road deaths and 193 injuries every hour over the extended holiday, with most accidents caused by drunken motorcylists.
With two public holidays January 1-2 followed by a weekend, Thais are expected to begin deserting the capital Bangkok in droves from the Saturday after Christmas.
The period is traditionally one of the two most dangerous times on Thai roads, the other being in April during the traditional Thai new year festival of Songkran, which this year saw a record 613 people killed.
The police reportedly are to station traffic officers on major roads in districts with shopping malls, heighten their presence around bus terminals and railway stations, and conduct random searches of vehicles along roads leading out of Bangkok from December 30 to January 1.
Police will also use 'breathaliser' alcohol tests on bus drivers and employ additional speed detectors on motorways in an effort to crack down on drunk driving and speeding, the Bangkok Post said.
27-12-03, 04:23 PM #2
When i was in Thailand, i have been impression thai drivers drove wisely.
613 deads by car accident last year in Thailand is always too much but if you compare to statistics in europe, it's very few. 6000 death in France, 15 000 in Portugal... That's right there's more traffic cars in europe and the weather is not favourable.
Concerning drunk driving, i would like to know where is the level of tolerance in Thailand.
In France, at 0.5 g/l alcohol in the blood, you are in violation of the law ( 2 beers or 2 glasses of wine). How many in Thailand?\"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.\"
Le petit prince
Antoine de Saint Exupery
27-12-03, 04:57 PM #3
Australia has a population of about 20 million people and has about 1,700 road deaths per year. Thailands population is 3 times larger than Australia, so this would be the equivillant of 5,100 road deaths in Thailand per year or about 98 deaths per week, in comparison Thailands road toal is exstremly high.
Why is this so considering Australia has more registed cars than people.
1) Motorcycles are very popular in Thailand, and in Australia people prefer a car.
2) In Australia there are hundreds of speed traps and cameras which will book you for going 3 kph over the speed limit,
3) they pull you over on a regular basis for alcohol breath
4) larger and newer cars with better safety levels like air bags and better safty belts are more popular in Australia.
5) get between 1 and 3 driving offences in a period of 3 years in Australia and you will lose your drivers licence, that slows you down, specialy where there are 40 kph speed limits near schools
6) speeding fines can be as hight as the equivalent of 64,500 baht and loss of licence for doing 45 kph over the speed limit in Australia.
This is a problem for me because I not like driving this slow all the time
28-12-03, 04:44 PM #4
If you re-read the initial post you will see that the deaths were over a couple of days over new year and songkran not over the period of a year.So the death toll was very high.
28-12-03, 05:21 PM #5
Oups you have reason Mat. i have to take reading lessons and i see in Thailand people have to take driving lessons!\"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.\"
Le petit prince
Antoine de Saint Exupery
30-12-03, 07:15 AM #6
Spectre of bloody New Year looms after weekend of carnage
The Nation, Published on Dec 30, 2003
At least 177 people were killed in road accidents over the weekend while over 8,000 were injured, slightly higher than the numbers for the comparable two days last year, the Public Health Ministry said yesterday.
Wallop Thainua, perma-nent secretary for Public Health, said the ministry surveyed reports of road accidents from hospitals nationwide from 2pm on Saturday through all day Sunday.
The survey found that 177 people were killed in road accidents on the two days and 8,323 injured, 2,265 of them seriously.
He said last year 153 people were killed and 7,647 injured on December 28 and 29, the weekend before New Year's Day.
Wallop said most of the accidents this year involvedmotorcyclists who were between 16 and 24 years old and to motorists who were drunk.
Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan said the ministry would launch campaigns to warn motorists against drunk driving.
She said she had instructed public hospitals and clinics nationwide to be on alert to be able to help road accident victims, and added that 900 mobile medical teams were on stand-by to rush to the scenes of accidents.
Dr Thaejing Siripanit, chairman of the Don't Drive Drunk Foundation, said the statistics showed that a majority of 600 road accidents studied earlier this year were caused by drunk driving.
Thaejing said the punishment measures and campaigns during the past had helped 90 to 95 per cent of people realise the danger of drunk driving, but road accidents were still high, apparently because of a lack of enforcement.
31-12-03, 04:48 AM #7
The numbers are higher and higher... always higher.
It is so ironic, isn't it: any consumable goods that would kill this many people in just a couple of days would be totally banned, but alcohol always gets through. Why? How high does the body count need to be to make people more responsible?
I would like to see Mr. Thaksin's war on drugs extending to the total ban of the consumption of all kinds of alcohol, and a strict enforcement of that law. Yeah, it would make life less comfy for some, but these 177 men, women and children would still live today. A good tradeoff, IMO.
03-01-04, 03:59 AM #8
Recently in France, the law pursued a bar owner who sold alcohol drinks to a driver which have been an accident, killing several persons. And 3 days ago, a person was pursued because she let a drunker friend taking his car after a home feast ...
A little abusive but we passed from 15 000 death 4 years ago to 6 000 this year...
Prevention rather than repression but sometime, examples judgment can make think those who have difficulties to understand they are not alone on the roads...\"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.\"
Le petit prince
Antoine de Saint Exupery
03-01-04, 08:59 AM #9
ROAD CARNAGE: Death toll hits all-time high
The Nation, Published on Jan 3, 2004
Over 700 killed so far, 33,000 injured, and officials expect numbers to climb
At least 714 people have been killed in road accidents over the last six days up until last evening - the highest-ever death toll during a New Year or Songkran holiday period.
The number of injured in road accidents from December 27 to January 1 has reached 33,736.
Both the death and the injury toll are expected to rise today and tomorrow as motorists return to cities after the holiday break.
Both the death and injury tolls are higher than those from the three preceding New Year holiday periods.
A total of 373 people were killed and 20,836 injured from December 28, 2000 to January 2, 2001. The death toll was 657 from December 27, 2001 to January 2, 2002, while 32,014 were injured.
During the 2003 New Year holiday 514 people were killed and 29,485 injured.
The death toll during the last three Songkran holidays was 530 in 2001, 564 in 2002 and 569 last year.
Deputy Public Health Minister Chamlong Iamchaengpan blamed the booming economy.
More people can afford to buy cars and motorcycles, as well as take vacations, Chamlong said, adding that both factors contributed to an upsurge in road traffic and a concomitant surge in traffic fatalities
He said he the final New Year death tally and the factors that caused it would end tomorrow.
Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng, director of the Road Safety Centre, said he would hold himself responsible if highway police and provincial governors could not reduce the number of road accidents today and tomorrow.
"One of the reasons that I cannot execute the measures we have planned is that I do not have the power to order those directly responsible. I will move to get the authority to do so," Chaturon said.
He said he was upset with the performance of police in Police Region 3 - which includes Buri Ram, Surin, Si Sa Ket and Roi Et - because of the unusually high number of road accidents there.
Provinces where police keep strict checks on traffic saw fewer deaths and injuries, he said.
He ordered highway police to maintain strict checks for drunk drivers.
"The highway police commander and superintendents in provinces that see the number of accident rise will face transfer," he added.
Deputy Communication Minister Nikorn Jamnong admitted that he erred when he said more accidents would occur on roads instead of highways. As a result of this expectation he ordered a bigger boost to preventive measures on provincial roads than on highways.
There were only enough staff and resources to monitor 15,000 kilometres of highway, or 5 per cent of the total 300,000 kilometres across the country, he said.
"This figure is frightening. It shows the lack of safety on highways. We will seek a Cabinet resolution for a major revamp [in traffic safety]," he said.
Anti-Drunk Driving Foundation secretary-general Thaejing Siripanit said that to solve the problem of drunk driving, the government had to enforce the law. There was no need for a legal amendment to increase penalties, Thaejing said.
He also called on Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to take responsibility for the problem as it had reached a crisis and the country faces heavy losses as a result.
Chaturon also blamed the Public Health Ministry's Narenthorn Centre for the high number of injured, saying it had included people who sustained very slight injuries in the total.
"They tally the figure like they are trying to break a SEA Games record," he said.
04-01-04, 10:32 AM #10
Premier promises to reduce road accidents
The Nation, Published on Jan 4, 2004
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday pledged to do more to reduce traffic fatalities as the road death toll for the New Year period surged to an all-time high of 801.
Thaksin said in his weekly radio address that the government would find ways to reduce road accidents, which have increased dramatically this year.
He said the rising road carnage resulted in part from the recovery of the economy, which meant people celebrated and travelled more during this year's New Year holiday.
The Public Health Ministry yesterday released figures from over 900 hospitals around the country showing that a total of 801 people had been killed and 38,923 injured from December 27 to January 2.
In the same period of last year 657 people were killed and 32,014 injured.
"The main reason causing the accidents is recklessness," Thaksin said. "Many of the victims were not aware of traffic regulations, didn't use safety belts, were drunk or didn't wear crash helmets." The premier told the audience that his daughter Pinthongtha, 22, had been slightly injured on Friday when her car was hit another vehicle.
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