The Nation

opinion

Smaller
Larger

Faulty autos and car-park ramps a lethal combination

Millions of cars across the world are being recalled, probably the result of shoddy workmanship, hurried hi-tech upgrades and the incessant demand for profit (often at the expense of safety).

Several major auto-makers are currently facing penalties.

Meanwhile in Bangkok, hundreds of new and older buildings with onsite multi-storey car parks offer drivers the convenience of descending exits. Common sense should dictate that ramps of this kind ascend towards the pedestrian sidewalk, not in a dangerous steep downhill decline. Does common sense stand a chance, though, when it is clearly easier and cheaper to build without safety in mind?

Surprisingly, some five-star hotels (the pinnacles of the hospitality industry, currently crying out for tourists to return) are guilty of managing their own luxury roadways to death, putting both unsuspecting guests and pedestrians in harm's way every day. More crucial than that, are dangerous buildings of this kind even insurable?

Now, combine faulty cars with vehicular ski-slopes and consider the potential consequences.

Maybe these killer ramps act as a powerful symbol of higher- and lower-level corruption, from the ground up. If so, this is surely the moment for lawmakers, architects, builders, local authorities and insurance companies to cease accepting their lucrative rake-off. Eventually the new political climate is likely to demand a higher degree of integrity and responsibility in the design, construction, certification and insuring of buildings, allowing those on foot an enhanced level of safety and the greater likelihood they may reach home alive.

John Shepherd

Bangkok


Comments conditions

Users are solely responsible for their comments.We reserve the right to remove any comment and revoke posting rights for any reason withou prior notice.