Thailand Falls To 8th On Deadliest Roads Rankings, But Still Worst Outside Africa

Published on 9th December 2018 by Stickboy BKK

Thailand Falls To 8th On Deadliest Roads Rankings

Thailand’s roads no longer are ranked the world’s second-deadliest roads, but don’t take off your seat belt yet: Other countries simply got worse.

The boys in green occupying Government House will crow about their improved ranking released by the World Health Organization Friday, which showed Thailand fell from No. 2 to No. 8. But don’t believe the hype. The kingdom’s fatality rate of 32.7 deaths per 100,000 people actually increased from 32.6 in the last survey in 2015 and remains the worst outside Africa.

The drop to No. 8 only occurred because Africa got even worse. The top seven places are filled by backwaters like Liberia, Saint Lucia, Burundi, Rwanda, Libya, Congo and Chad.

Using data from 2016 – the latest available worldwide to the United Nations agency – Thailand reported 21,745 deaths on its roads. WHO models say it’s actually as much as 24,717 souls killed.

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The rest of the ASEAN region is much safer. The death rates per 100,000 in Vietnam – the second-worst in the region – was 26.7. Singapore came in tops at 2.8. Even Cambodia posted a rate of just 17.8.

The WHO blamed Thailand’s poor enforcement of laws on drunk driving, helmet and seatbelt use, and speeding as the factors still making Thailand an embarrassment to other middle-income countries.

There was some improvement, however. The report noted that while Thailand’s national urban speed limit of 80 kilometres per hour “is far from aligning with current best practices”, legislation enacted in 2017 to allow provinces and municipalities to set their own speed limits has borne fruit.

By September 2018, half of Thailand’s provinces had set urban speed limits at 50 k/mh or less, the WHO’s recommended limit.

Bangkok, as usual, has taken a half-arsed approach to such speed limits, imposing 50 k/mh limits on only eight roads in the capital.

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