Thai drivers and motorcycle riders have been slated by a leading road safety campaigner in a scathing attack on a TV report.
Dr Thanapong Jinawong warned Thai people to obey the laws of the road or more people will die over the Songkran period.
The message was clear. Change your attitude or carnage will follow. “Understand why you are being fined and adjust your driving accordingly”.
Dr Thanapong hit out on a Channel 7 news show, claiming that almost every person was guilty of breaking the laws on Thailand’s roads.
Traditionally, deaths on Thailand’s roads increase during Songkran, and when you consider that the country already has an abysmal record for road deaths, the news is not what people wish to hear. It is however, the truth.
The only way to improve on the driving standard is to hurt people where it hurts when they commit driving offences – the pocket.
Sentences for drink driving must be toughened and carried out in full, irrespective of how much money a person has, otherwise the problem is not going to go away.
The doctor said the problem is not with the roads, signage, lights and so on but lay firmly in the hands of the people of Thailand, who have little regard for the law, when it comes to road safety.
He also claimed that only 17% of people actually bothered to pay fines.
U-turns were given as a prime example of lack of care and attention by drivers, who simply refuse to slow down or display patience.
Roadside street vendors, were another cause for concern as drivers suddenly stop to make a purchase, without warning or due care.
And of course speeding is one of the main reasons people are killed on the roads of Thailand. Drivers falling asleep at the wheel, while in charge of passenger vehicles are another issue that has to be dealt with, as employees are working too many hours.
He highlighted tailgating as another issue, saying more accidents occur on straight stretches of roads than they do on bends.
He asked for people to follow the rules and for law enforcers to be stricter. He suggested targetting known accident areas and for police to deal with those caught speeding.
Random stops to check for alcohol consumption and tired drivers was another suggestion put forward but overall a bigger police presence would be a good place to start.
Source : Ch7
Content : LovePattayaThailand