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Police could lower city speed limits to “halve road accidents by 2020”

The metropolitan police were told something they already knew at a meeting on Monday – speed kills!

The Bloomberg Foundation that works on public safety issues had done some surveys with the academics at Chulongkorn University and worked out that the faster people go the more accidents there are.

So now the Bangkok cops – faced with the new evidence – are thinking about lowering the speed limit generally in built up areas from 80 km per hour to 50 kmph.

The move could be seen in other cities around Thailand later if successful in the capital.

The meeting was told that 76% of road accidents happen because drivers go too fast.

This is hampering efforts to halve the death toll from road accidents.

The meeting was told that the stated aim of the authorities was to cut the road accident death toll from 2011 figures by 50% by 2020.

This is not going too well – so far since 2011 they have just gone up and up.

Also on the table is a proposal to cut the speed limit to 30 kmph in heavily pedestrianized areas and 70 where there are no central reservations.

Meanwhile Yukhantiwat Kamalakun of Bloomberg said that his organisation in conjunction with Chula had made recommendations to improve certain aspects of nine major Bangkok roads to improve safety.

On Asoke they said that expanding the zebra crossings, introducing barriers to stop pedestrian encroachment and introducing central reservations would be a good idea.

Silom should have barriers and pedestrians in Yaowarat should be kept from wandering on the roads, he said. Sukhumvit, Petchaburi, Rama IV and Charoen Krung among others were also recommended for improvements.

Ideas include traffic slowing measures, crossing lights, barriers to stop pedestrians crossing and lanes to split up cars and motorbikes.

While the meeting concentrated on Bangkok Thai Rath made no mention of figures recently announced that showed the capital of Thailand had the fewest road accidents of anywhere in the kingdom.

The eastern seaboard provinces have accident rates almost four times as high, said a report from an accident prevention group last week.

Thai Visa / Thai Rath

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