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New statistics released by the Don’t Drink Drive Foundation have revealed that the number of people killed on Thailand’s roads have soared in 2017.
On average, 61 people are killed every day on Thailand’s road, the Foundation said.
In 2016, 9,666 people were found dead at the scene of a road accident. However in 2017, this figure jumps to 12,078 people killed.
And that figure is likely to be considerably higher, with the latest stats only accounting for people who were pronounced dead at the scene of an accident, the Thai News Agency reported.
The stats don’t take into account people who died on the way to or later in hospital having been involved in a road traffic accident. The Foundation said this is because those stats will not be available until the end of the year.
Earlier this month it was revealed that the total death toll in 2016 was 22,356 – that was 2,877 up from the figure for 2015 which was 19,479.
With these latest stats being released in November, also not included are figures for the new year holiday, which along with the Songkran festival normally sees a spike in road accidents and fatalities.
The damning statistics come despite government officials introducing numerous measures to try and reduce fatalities on Thailand’s roads. One such measure introduced earlier this year was to ban people riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck.
However, the report by Thai News Agency highlights the number of minivans, which have also been the subject of increased regulation this year, being involved in road fatalities in Thailand.
There were 217 minivan accidents between January and September in 2017, compared to 226 in total in 2016.
The report says that already this year 107 people died in accidents involving minivans, compared to 130 deaths in 2016.
Poor maintenance of minivans, bursting tires, fires, drivers falling asleep while driving and speeding were among the main causes of minivan accidents.
Foundation secretary general Dr Taejing Siripanich said Thailand’s traffic laws and the mindset of drivers were to blame.
He said that drivers in Thailand regularly drive under the influence of alcohol, use their smartphones behind the wheel and show little consideration for others when driving.
He also said that people are not afraid to break traffic laws and called on police and associated agencies to get tough on drivers who break the law.