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Pattaya Daily News

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28 December 2009 :: 14:12:32 pm 3222

Road Safety Project Launched For 2010

The Thai government has officially announced that 2010 will be the year for road saftey, in an attempt to lower the accident rate and death toll.
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Bangkok, the 28th of December 2009 [Pattaya Daily News]:  The Thai  government has launched a project to designate 2010 as the year for road safety in an effort to reduce road accidents and ensure public safety. The campaign for road safety has been stepped up, especially during the New Year festive season. The objective is to bring down the number of road accidents by 50 percent within the next 10 years. 

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that over the past five years, 500 million tons of products have been transported within the Kingdom, with more than 100,000 accidents taking place in air, land, and water transportation each year. The accidents killed almost 14,000 people in 2004. Out of these accidents, 98 percent were caused by road traffic.

The Prime Minister quoted a study conducted by the Asian Development Bank that Thailand faced a higher death toll than its ASEAN partners, resulting in a great economic loss. Another study undertaken by Prince of Songkla University indicated that damage caused by road accidents led to an economic loss of 3.95 to 4.65 million baht per person. As a result, traffic fatalities caused about 200 billion baht in economic loss in a year, or about 3 percent of the country’s GDP.

The Cabinet, during its meeting on 29 September 2009, approved the Master Plan on Road Safety, 2009-2012, when road safety was put on the national agenda. The master plan focuses on guidelines for management in terms of safe systems, safety culture, and ultimate outcome. It consists of several strategies, which regard road safety as an urgent national policy and seek to prevent road accidents in Bangkok and the provinces.

The Prime Minister urged all parties involved to work actively on road safety in line with the Moscow Declaration, issued on 20 November 2009, at the end of the first Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety in Russia. The declaration calls for a Decade of Action for Road Safety, 2011-2020, with the goal to stabilize and then reduce the level of global road deaths by 2020. It says that road traffic injuries are a major public health problem and leading cause of death and injury around the world. Vehicle crashes also kill more than 1.2 million people and injure or disable as many as 50 million a year. More than 90 percent of road traffic deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries.

Prime Minister Abhisit said that the Government had allocated an additional fund of three billion baht under the “Thailand: Investing from Strength to Strength” program for the Department of Highways. The fund will be used to improve various roads across the country to ensure public safety and reduce casualties.

He pointed out that the problem of road accidents would ease, if people became more aware of safety and if all parties involved contributed to improving work-related road safety. The Prime Minister also called for developing Thai society as a society of safer transportation.

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Reporter : Methawee   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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