As many as 939,713 road accidents were reported in 2022, up 4.7% from 2021, the Thailand Road Accidents Data Centre for Road Safety Culture (ThaiRSC) said. According to data revealed by ThaiRSC, road accidents claimed 14,737 lives and injured 924,799 in Thailand. Of them, 536 deaths and 7,885 injuries were foreigners. Statistics show that more than half of the accidents (55.9%) involved motorbikes. Among the 14,737 lives lost, 360 deaths at the crossroad were officially reported. ThaiRSC said that the average damage incurred per accident was about 200,000 baht, while other mental, social and economic impacts for families are unmeasurable.
Considering this frightening statistic as crucial incident harming well-being of Thai people and society, Mr. Songsak Saicheua, Thai Ombudsman, launches a systemic investigation seeking solutions to amend obsoleted and ineffective laws and regulations. The Ombudsman’s resolution aims to reduce deaths caused by road accidents, especially the crossroad. Currently, traffic violators are fine for 4,000 baht if they are caught not stopping at the crossroad. Ombudsman also encourages concerned agencies such as Department of Land Transportation (DLT), Royal Police Bureau, Department of Highways, Public Transportation Service Network such as Taxi drivers’ group, Motorcycle riders’ group, Food and Parcel delivery Companies, Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) The Transport Co., Ltd, as well as private networking group.
A good consultation with DLT and Royal Police Bureau leads Thailand Ombudsman to propose recommendations on tougher law enforcement in order to yield a more safety zone, especially crossroad area, for pedestrians and drivers. Ombudsman’s recommendations such as more restriction on speed limit, more fines for law breakers, and all vehicles MUST stop at the crossroad when there is pedestrian crossing (the current law only SUGGESTS EVERYONE TO BE AWARE) etc. Recommendations will be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration.
From the Ombudsman Songsak’s initiatives, DLT and Royal Police Bureau took it on board and amended few regulations and enforcement. The two offices agree to merge license and permission database so that the traffic law violation could be verified by authorities, moreover, agree to set up the score deduction criteria for driving permission. Funds from Road Safe Fund were allocated to promote road safety projects. Several road safety campaigns and public relation programs were introduced through social media and public television programs to show their strong commitment. With cooperation from Ministry of Education and DLT, road safety curriculum for primary education will be developed to be part of the day-to-day learning and practice. DLT launches campaign called “Beware of pedestrians, when you drive. Beware of vehicles, when you cross the street.” in order to raise public awareness. The office of the Ombudsman has also stepped up the coordination and integration among the agencies and parties concerned in the public and private sectors as well as the civil society in the law enforcement and carrying out the public awareness raising campaign.
Source: The Office of the Ombudsman, Thailand