Do what we say not what we do — Again on Road Safety
Or 100 Reasons why the new Driving points system will be a complete farce.
In 2019 the scandal plagued Prayut Government announced that it would introduce a tough new points system for drivers.
As readers of our blog will know Thailand has one of the worst road accident rates for any country.
You can see our previous coverage on this area on some proposed solutions here:
The NEW measures were meant to be introduced in Mid December:
Points deduction system for drivers to be introduced mid-December | The Thaiger
U-Tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport and AIS, Thailand's largest GSM mobile phone operator, have signed a…
Essentially the idea is to have a points based system where drivers will gain points for certain infringements and when a certain level is reached face a ban. These systems have been shown to work well in many countries and have led to a decrease in road deaths where they have been introduced. One of the main problems in Thailand is and always has been enforcement of laws. Central authority in Thailand is very weak and government control barely extends beyond central Bangkok.
The local police are rumored to be extremely corrupt and according to the Thai press often take kick backs to look the other way when crimes or offenses are committed.
This is all known and been around for some time. So what has changed? We are now in February 2020 and the new regime has not been introduced. Transport minister Saksayam Chidchob gave a speech to the Department of Land Transport Mandarins a few weeks back, which was reported by the Thai press:
คมนาคม เล็งออกกฎคุมวินัยจราจรห้ามขับรถ 1 ปี หากถูกตัดแต้มครบ 100 คะแนน
ประเด็นน่าสนใจ มาตรการนี้หวังให้ผู้ใช้รถมีความระมัดระวัง ป้องกันอุบัติเหตุมากขึ้น คาดมีผลบังคับใช้ในปีนี้…
In this speech he outlined that the new system would use the same points basis but the number of points before a ban would be increased from 12 to 100!
MThai.com said that the following points system applied:
One point: Using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt or helmet, riding on the sidewalk
Two points: Going through red lights or going the wrong way
Three points: Organizing street racing, fleeing the scene of an accident or driving under the influence of drugs
Four points: DUI and driving while intoxicated with 200mg of alcohol in the blood and causing injury or death
So in effect you could cause injury or death 25 times before losing your license. You could Jump red lights 50 times or use a phone while driving 100 times before facing penalties other than minor fines.
The Thai government is largely made up of Military folks who are used to having their orders obeyed. The reality that most people don’t simply follow orders blindly they need to understand the benefit and be convinced to change their behavior. A program of carrot and stick would be the way to go.
Many commentators have labelled the new proposals as laughable. The whole build up to this has involved a lot of shouting and proclaiming how tough the new scheme will be but we now see that this is a case of the mouse that roared. In the early 1900s US President Theodore Roosevelt said “speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” He was referring to a West African Proverb which suggests foresight and planning rather than bluster.
The people of Thailand deserve better. The 100s of thousands of people who have lost a family member deserve better. Safety on the roads is a major issue in Thailand and the government must step up and play it’s part.
DRVR has been working with private companies to make driving safer for fleet customers. We’re working with some of the largest logistics and insurance companies in the world to make driving safer. Check out our website: www.drvr.co
You can see our CEO David talking about DRVR’s commitment to reducing road deaths in this video: