Carnage on Thailand’s roads blamed on alcohol. RUBBISH!

Image: Daily News

The head of Thailand’s anti drink- driving foundation has pulled no punches in comments about the appalling state of the nation’s roads.
 Dr Thaejing Siripanich told Daily News that it was common knowledge that at least 24,000 people died each year in road accidents.
And he put the number of people injured at a staggering ONE MILLION per annum saying that ten per cent of these end up being disabled in some way.
Dr Thaejing said that the situation led to untold misery for the population with people robbed of life and a proper existence due to the carnage.
Not surprisingly he laid the blame for much of the death and injury at the door of drink- driving.
He was speaking ahead of a drink drive campaign that will be mounted in Bangkok on Friday to coincide with the annual Loy Krathong celebrations. Loy Krathong is the traditional candle-lit boat floating festival.

Dr Thaejing said that it was widely accepted that accidents increase at various festival times and he cited New Year, Chinese New Year, Songkran and Loy Krathong.

At the one day Loy Krathong festival last year there were 189 dead and 19,869 injured on the roads. In addition there were 48 water related deaths such as drownings.

Friday will see the anti drink driving foundation join forces with police, Bangkok authorities and the private sector in mounting a parade in the Ramkhamhaeng area of Bangkok.

It is entitled “Loy Krathong Anti Drink- Driving Campaign”.The parade will start and finish at the Honda Safe Driving Center at Ramkhamhaeng Soi 127 and take in the National Stadium, Ramkhamhaeng University campus, Rama 9 Road and The Mall on its campaign journey.

Thailand’s obsession with the the idea that alcohol is the root of all evil will hinder any effort  to make Thai roads safer. Of course no-one can condone drink-driving and anyone who believes alcohol does not impair driving skills is an idiot.

However, the majority of accidents here happen between 4pm and 8pm, ie when people are going home from work. But the root cause of most accidents is simply BAD DRIVING ! Nothing to do with alcohol. Speed is the biggest killer.

One of the really big problems is cutting corners instead of staying on the correct side of the road. It happens to me every day and just yesterday I ended up face to face about a yard apart with a pickup truck who was turning right and I was going straight on.

The same thing also happened to me with a POLICE pickup truck a few weeks ago. Then you have motorbikes traveling on the wrong side of the road to contend with. Motorbikes with no lights, no mirrors,children driving bikes, the list is endless.

Until driving standards improve, nothing will change no matter how many anti-drink-driving campaigns are launched. It is too easy just to assume accidents are being caused by alcohol.

Of course there are more accidents during holiday periods because there are more people on the roads not because people drink more. It is pure laziness to blame alcohol instead of addressing the real problems and I object very strongly to being put in constant danger every time I take to the road.

(Source:-Daily News)

By Juninho