Thai Gov’t's Plan to Lower Road Incidents Off to a Bad Start


New Year’s Traffic Resolutions Go Awry in Thailand

Thailand’s New Year’s resolution to decrease road fatalities has had a poor start, as authorities report 1,183 accidents and 146 casualties in the first three days of the campaign. In a report by the Bangkok Post, the Interior Ministry said the most number of incidents occurred in Surat Thani in the south of Thailand.

In a particularly grim New Year’s Eve, nearly half of the three-day accidents total happened on the day that resulted in a third of the deaths, according to multiple news outlets.

The country is no stranger to road tragedies, as a recent op-ed by Jos Vandelaer, the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) rep to Thailand, revealed that Thailand ranks ninth in road traffic deaths at 32.7 fatalities per 100,000 people. The piece also underlined that most of the incidents involve two or three-wheeler vehicles, accounting for 75% of all victims.

However, all hope is not lost. In the same report, the Thai government was able to lower the total number of deaths from 19,904 in 2019 to 16,494 in 2021. To support the government’s initiative, a separate report by the WHO outlined 12 ways that Thailand can reduce the number of incidents.

Meanwhile, the new demerit points system is expected to modify road behavious by penalising unruly and non-law-abiding drivers.

Subscribe to The Beat's newsletter to receive compelling, curated content straight to your inbox! You can also create an account with us for free to start bookmarking articles for later reading.