Deputy permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry M.L. Panada Disakul revealed the high traffic-related rate of the country at the seminar of the 11th Road Safety Seminar today.
He said that the Thai government had announced a 10-year national policy on road safety from 2011-2020 in its attempt to reduce road accidents and loss to the least during the period.
However, he said, though the policy had been announced and measures had been implemented to reduce traffic-related accidents, road fatalities in the country remained high with a total of 26,000 road fatalities in 2010.
World Health Organization released a list of countries by traffic-related death rate conducted in 2010 showing Thailand become the world’s third country with highest fatalities of 38.1 per capita per year and per vehicle-km.
The highest rate in road fatalities is Eritrea at 48.4, and Libya 40.5.
M.L. Panada said road fatalities remained high despite of the road safety campaign because enforcement of road safety laws on risk factors such as wearing crash helmets, drunk driving, speeding was not tough enough.
According to Australian road safety expert, the best way to reduce road fatalities and loss should be done through encouraging the people to be aware of traffic rules, stringent enforcement of traffic laws.
He added that the coming New Year would see authorities enforcing stricter traffic laws on violators in the attempt to reduce road facilities, particularly wearing crash helmets while riding motorcycles, drunk driving and speeding.
According to WHO, road traffic injuries caused an estimated 1.24 million deaths worldwide in the year 2010, down from 1.26 in 2000. Half of the road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and adults aged between 15 and 44 years account for 59% of deaths. 3 out of 4 road deaths are among men. The average rate was 18% per 100,000 people (down from 20.8 in 2000). 92% occurred in low and middle income countries, with Southeast Asia and Africa having the highest rates.
Thailand has the rate of 38.1 road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year, and 118.8 road fatalities per 100,000 motor vehicles.