Road safety measures taken for double-deckers to reduce accident risks


The Department of Land Transport is taking several steps to regulate the road safety of double-decker buses to reduce the risk of accidents.

In the latest incident, a double-decker bus belonging to Srisiam Dernrod and operated by the Transport Co Ltd crashed into trees on the roadside of Highway No. 4 (Phetkasem) southbound between kilometre markers 331-332 in Moo 7 Huay Yang sub-district, Thap Sakae district, Prachuap Khiri Khan province on December 5, killing 14 and injuring 32 others.

One of the most important steps is to require all double-decker buses to be equipped with a speed limiter. This will prevent buses from exceeding the speed limit, which is one of the main causes of accidents.

Another important step is to require all double-decker buses to be inspected by a qualified mechanic at least every 6 months. This will help to ensure that the buses are in good condition and safe to operate.

In addition, the Department of Land Transport is also considering the following measures to regulate and monitor bus operators to ensure public safety

- Inspect bus operators’ business operations to ensure they meet safety standards. This includes strict conditions regarding safety measures for drivers, vehicles, management systems, and mandatory vehicle inspection every 7 years.

- Installing GPS tracking devices and inspecting vehicle conditions every 6 months, routine safety checks of vehicles before each trip and conducting random roadside inspections.

- There must be an effective system in place to minimise potential accident risks, along with a reporting system to ensure the bus is safe condition to provide service to the public.

- Banning double-decker buses from operating in certain areas, such as mountainous areas or areas with poor road conditions.

- Requiring double-decker buses to have a lower maximum passenger capacity.

- Requiring double-decker buses to have higher safety features, such as side impact protection.

The Land Transport department said it hoped these measures would help reduce the number of accidents involving double-deckers and make them safer for passengers and other motorists.

While the department’s response to this week’s double-decker bus accident in Prachuap Khiri Khan province is seen as a positive step, with the measures designed to address the main causes of accidents involving double-decker buses, many feel that they are only a starting point. The department must continue to monitor the situation and make further changes if necessary.

In addition, the department must work with bus operators and passengers to raise awareness of the safety risks associated with double-decker buses. This can be done through education and public awareness campaigns.

By taking these steps, the department can help to make double-decker buses safer and reduce the risk of accidents.

The department cancelled the registration of all new double-decker in 2016 due to their unsuitability for use on steep slopes, noting they roll over easily and have a 6 times higher risk of accidents than single-decker buses. However, existing models continue to run in all areas of the country.