Cargo trucks and public transport buses in Thailand were found to have been speeding beyond the legal limit on more than 17 million occasions last year, according to a GPS-based study by a Bangkok-based university.
The Safety Analysis study, by King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang’s Smart City Research Centre (SCRC), found that 250,000 trucks and buses had exceeded a legal speed limit 17,218,811 times. It also found that cargo trucks travelled at an average speed of 101.58 kilometres per hour.
The researchers analysed the 2017 data from the Highway Accident Information Management System (HAIMS), identifying the seven most dangerous spots for crashes and fatalities.
1. Highway No. 1 between the 708th-726th kilometre markers;
2. Highway No. 2 between the 20th-36th kilometre markers;
3. Highway No. 4 between the 126th-130th kilometre markers;
4. Highway No. 9 between the 30th-38th kilometre markers;
5. Highway No. 32 between the 132nd-137th kilometre markers;
6. Highway No. 41 between the 366th-379th kilometre markers;
7. Highway No. 304 between the 165th-176th kilometre markers and between the 190th-250th markers (cutting through the national forest).
The SCRC joined with the Department of Land Transport to develop a “Smart Mobility” system using global positioning system (GPS) technology to collect data, study drivers’ behaviours, positions and travel directions, and detect vehicle speed.
The findings were revealed on Sunday after several serious road accidents involving buses.
They include the March 21 double-decker coach crash in Nakhon Ratchasima’s Wang Nam Khieo district that killed 18 passengers and wounded 30 others, and the March 30 incident in which a double-decker bus loaded with Myanmar workers crashed and burned in Tak, killing 20 workers.
The former case involved a meth-taking driver who was speeding beyond the 60km/hour legal limit while driving on winding downhill road.
In the latter case, Dr Thanapong Jinawong, chief of the Road Safety Policy Foundation, raised questions over the bus’s condition, speed and the likelihood of it being overloaded as possible contributing factors.