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Other factors to consider in reducing road carnage

Jan 06. 2017
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Re: “Horrific collision spurs plans to cut number of passenger vans”, Front Page, January 4.

Your report on the horrific double-vehicle accident in Chon Buri with 25 deaths should prompt a national day of mourning, since Thailand continues to have one of the highest per-capita vehicle accident rates in the world!

The report implies that an increase in accidents and deaths is an inevitable result of more vehicles on the roads and more people travelling.

It points to the possible negligence of the van driver, but says nothing about the irresponsibility of the van company for requiring its driver to work excessive hours, nor the likelihood that many of the pickup passengers must have been outside the protection of the cab.

Though the story states that the van’s NGV cylinders exploded, it might have added that these cylinders are often located within the passenger compartments of passenger vans in Thailand.

Changes happen in society only when people and organisations make them happen. Reducing traffic accidents in Thailand requires more value to be placed on life and the prevention of accidents. 

An insurance pay-out of Bt35,000 for a life lost in a traffic accident is not sufficient incentive to prompt needed changes. In developed societies with higher vehicle traffic densities, accident and death rates are lower because insurance payments are related to the ages and earnings of victims. 

Only by requiring increased responsibility on the part of public transport companies, individual drivers, insurance companies, etc, can accident rates be brought down.

Peter Smedes

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