Since our articles Wacky Races on The Roads of Thailand and Driving Round The Bend there has been a reported big rise in fatalities in the first six months of this year compared to last year up 25% – on what are already amongst the worst figures in the world.
The figures released so far this year make disturbing but unsurprising reading:
Nationwide since the start of the year here are the stats for “dead at the scene”:
January 947 (Average 30 a day)
February 850 (Average 30 a day)
March 1,281 (Average 41 a day)
April 1,382 (Average 46 a day)
May 1,124 (Average 36 a day)
June 1,128 (Average 37 a day)
In the first six months of this year 6,712 people died at the scene of accidents in Thailand. This compared to 5,308 last year. That is a full 25% increase in the death toll.
The BBC reported on the situation early this year describing “a ritual that is now very familiar to Thais, before the two big holiday seasons of the year, the government will set a target for reducing fatalities on Thailand’s notoriously dangerous roads, exhorting Thais not to speed, or drink and drive.”
Clearly this is not working. So what can be done?
Sometimes good willing Thais will run publicity stunts, like the coffin-maker, who last year invited journalists to film the huge stockpile his workers were building up for the holiday season.
But the figures have kept on rising;
The grim statistics of death on the roads each day are graphically highlighted in grisly photos, shown in the press, on TV and social media. Often victims are photographed bloodied in their cars or throw clear, lying on the road motionless.
Thousand are dying each month. 1382 people lost there lives this year in April, the majority probably in the seven days around Songkran.
I think the government must act and introduce much stricter testing on both drivers and vehicles. Sorry to expats who like a drink and a slow crawl home in their 4×4 but they must also crack down hard on drink drivers. This HAS BEEN PROVEN in the UK and elsewhere to have dramatically reduced deaths. With no get out jail free cards available for purchase! Controversial maybe but the truth hurts.
As we’ve said before there are good reasons why the UN ranks Thailand No. 2 in the world for road accidents and deaths. So be careful out there.