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Police mulls revision of speed limits in and outside urban area

The Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Interior are now considering an amendment to the Land Transport Law that will see speed limits from 80 kilometres an hour adjusted to 110 km/h to facilitate driving on highways, and to 60 km/h in urban area.

The 80-km/h speed limit on some roads has been set by the law since 1979 or over 37 years and was outdated, said Pol Maj Gen Akkarak Limsangkas, a member of the working group on traffic of the Royal Thai Police.

Road conditions have been much improved now, allowing cars to run at the speed of up to 120 km/h, he said.

Under the 1979 land transport law, speed limit in municipal area was set at 80 km/h and 90 km/h outside municipal area.

He said the law fixed the speed limit at 80-90 km/h because at that time most roads have only two traffic lanes.

But now this has changed and therefore the Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda had stressed the need for change of the law to increase the speed limit to facilitate driving, he said.

The government has already tasked the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Transport and the Royal Thai Police to work together for possible adjustment of speed, particularly on inter-provincial highways which have no intersections or crossroads to 105-110 km/h from 80-90 km/h at present.

However, the speed limit adjustment would be based on safety as well, he said.

Meanwhile Dr Thanapong Jinvong, manager of the Road Safety Group Thailand, viewed that speed limit in urban area should be kept to international standards at 50 km/h.

He said the Thai society has overlooked the fatal traffic cases involving pedestrians for a long time.

According to traffic accident statistics in 2017,  8 out 100 fatal traffic cases involved pedestrians, he said.

He said more than 20,000 people died in traffic accidents yearly,  2,000 of them were killed while crossing the roads.

The speed limit at 80 km/h in urban area was partly to blame for the high fatality of pedestrians, he said, adding that he supports the idea to cut speed limit in urban areas from 80 km/h to 60 km/h.

Thai PBS

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