Thais aren’t serious about road safety. We have the deadliest roads in the world, yet we allow our drivers get away with chronic drunk-driving and allow our cops to ignore their duty.
We know that day in, day out, motorcycles are involved in about 75 per cent of accidents, and that 49 per cent of motorcyclists wear no helmets while 48 per cent have no mandatory third-party insurance. Driving under the influence is a key factor in most accidents.
So, while we study what’s worked elsewhere, how about this as a year-round remedy:
1. No helmet/insurance carries a mandatory Bt1,000 fine, to include 50 per cent discount on purchasing the missing item.
2. Breathalyser test required for all traffic stops, refusal counts as a “fail”.
3. If caught driving under the influence, mandatory week in jail, Bt5,000 fine, 40 hours working in emergency rooms during high accident periods, then 40 hours community service giving talks in school on dangers of reckless driving/DUI, with confiscation of vehicle until sentence is served.
4. Flying squads of deputised volunteers under command of an authorised traffic cop to perform stops for due cause (erratic driving, no helmets, etc). Fines, with receipts, to be split 50-50 between flying squad members and the cop’s precinct station, so the squads are self-financing.
Give drivers three months to prepare, then hit them. Save your mercy for their victims.