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Govt targets big cut in road deaths as data reveals 45 die every day

Govt targets big cut in road deaths as data reveals 45 die every day

Road accidents killed 45 people and injured 2,523 each day on average in Thailand from January to October, according to the central road-accident claims company.

The Road Accident Victims Protection Co was set up by all insurance companies in 1998 to ensure swift payment of compulsory compensation to road victims under the 1997 Protection for Motor Vehicle Victims Act.

The company’s data for the first 10 months of this year show 13,692 people died and 757,010 were injured in road accidents.

Jarut Visalchit, director-general of the Land Transport Department, said safety measures had been implemented in a bid to reduce Thailand’s road fatalities to below 10 per 100,000 population, the goal set for next year.

Based on the population of 66.4 million, to meet that goal Thailand would need to cut road deaths to 6,640 per year, a huge cut compared to the toll exacted even over 10 months.

Mr. Jarut said road-safety measures recently implemented included checkpoints for public transport vans, a persistent offender in road accident statistics.

Meanwhile, all public vehicles and lorries must install GPS systems linked to centres set up to monitor them for violations.

Online systems to monitor vehicles’ conditions are now in place while more checkpoints had been set up at accident-prone spots for greater safety.

Public-transport drivers with police records are monitored 24/7, and drivers must report working hours, be tested for alcohol and get training in how to drive more safely, he said.

Thailand currently has the eighth-highest number of road deaths per 100,000 population, according to the World Health Organisation’s figures.