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The roads won’t get safer on their own

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EDITORIAL

The roads won’t get safer on their own

By The Nation

 

Citizens need to care more, officials need to do more and police need to do their job

 

BANGKOK: -- About 600 people were killed in road accidents in Bangkok in 2016. Most of the deaths stemmed from motorcycle accidents.

 

 For many people, these statistics are nothing more than numbers. Take for example, the 25 people injured in just two accidents late last month, in Chachoengsao and Prachin Buri. In one case, a bus driver admitted he felt asleep behind the wheel. His vehicle slammed into the back of a 10-wheel truck.

 

More statistics. 

 

These tragedies don’t personally concern us. Such a thing could never happen to us. Too many people seem to think they have some sort of lucky charm in their pockets. The self-congratulation (at surviving) and the denial go on. Until it does indeed happen to them or to someone they love. 

 

Part of the reason people are so indifferent to such statistics is because we have no direct experience of such events. We are indifferent to the issue of road safety. We don’t take the time to examine the circumstances that create hazards on the road, or the consequences – the lost lives, the maiming injuries and, yes, the cost to taxpayers.

 

Has anyone bothered to ask, for example, whether that bus driver had had enough sleep before beginning his day’s work? Is it any of our business what he was doing the night before? Who is supposed to ensure that bus drivers are ready and able to drive? Should the company he works for be responsible for the damage done?

 

This problem goes much further than a bus driver’s fitness for duty, though. It is about our collective 

attitude towards public safety and the lack of proper rules and regulations for the operators of vehicles in general. 

 

Enforcement of the law is an essential factor, yet too often it is ignored. Just ask any motorist whether they’ve ever had to pay a bribe to a traffic police officer. Sometimes it’s the police themselves violating the law. Who’s going to arrest them? They seem to forget that they’re duty-bound to ensure public safety, not go around flexing their muscles.

 

Late last month, the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety announced a plan to reduce road deaths in Bangkok by half in the next two years. 

 

As mentioned, there were about 600 road deaths last year, so hopefully by 2019, this figure should be closer to 300, maybe even lower. (The five-year timeframe started in 2015.) Bangkok is one of 10 cities participating in the initiative, says Kelly Larson, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ director of road safety.  

 

The initiative has also waged campaigns to reduce risky behaviour and promote road safety. The strategy to reduce street fatalities also includes redesigning roads to make them safer for pedestrians. Portions of Asok, Silom and Yaowarat roads in Bangkok have already been revamped.  

 

But why do Thais have to wait for foreigners to give us a friendly nudge in the right direction? People who live in these areas see the dangers every day, as do their district officials and their bosses at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Is it not their responsibility to take action and make suggestions to the proper authorities? Or is the BMA only responsible for picking up trash and ensuring that street vendors pay their tithes on time?

 

Sadly, too many of our officials are sleepwalking through their working days. They think it’s a free ride, but it’s not. At least it’s not supposed to be.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/opinion/30323260

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-08-09
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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, webfact said:

But why do Thais have to wait for foreigners to give us a friendly nudge in the right direction? People who live in these areas see the dangers every day, as do their district officials and their bosses at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Is it not their responsibility to take action and make suggestions to the proper authorities?

Kreng jai is the answer.

Edited by BasalBanality
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30 minutes ago, webfact said:

The roads won’t get safer on their own

What? They won't? Damn! Government will have to come up with a new plan now. 

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56 minutes ago, webfact said:

For many people, these statistics are nothing more than numbers.

Number 2, to be precise. Bangkok had only 600 road deaths in 2016 ?

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1 hour ago, webfact said:

Too many people seem to think they have some sort of lucky charm in their pockets.

On the dashboard actually. Matters are unlikely to improve when so many naively believe they have divine protection.

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24 minutes ago, MW72 said:

A friend of the GF was killed driving her pick up home drunk one night. Went to the wake at the house and loads of visitors arrived in their cars or on bikes, proceeded to get drunk and drove home :shock1:. Until the police start enforcing laws the culture will not change.

When does he'll freeze over?

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Has anyone bothered to ask, for example, whether that bus driver had had enough sleep before beginning his day’s work? Is it any of our business what he was doing the night before? Who is supposed to ensure that bus drivers are ready and able to drive? Should the company he works for be responsible for the damage done?

 

Yeah...I'm pretty sure what the bus driver did the night before doesn't cause them to fall asleep at the wheel versus seriously long shifts with little to no rest breaks... or then again, maybe it was what they did the night before because they were probably also driving a bus then as well :)

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8 hours ago, rkidlad said:

What? They won't? Damn! Government will have to come up with a new plan now. 

Well I have had my suspicions for some time that just looking the other way was not going to work out too well

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They are betting on evolution to fix the problem. Sooner or later all the bad drivers will kill each other off and unavoidably will take some good ones as well.

So in about a million years it will be safer to drive here.

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Nobody fears the road BiB cos they rarely see them..

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They don't see ghosts but they are scared shitless of them. Maybe they need BiB ghosts?

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BANGKOK 21 November 2017 00:24
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