Strengthening Road Safety in Thailand

Thailand has the second highest road traffic fatality rate in the world at 36.2 per 100 000 with an annual estimate of over 24 000 deaths or 66 deaths every day. While globally 49% of road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists), it is 83% in Thailand including 73% among motorcyclists or 48 per day. Additionally Thailand loses 3 to 5 % of its GDP due to road traffic crashes.

The Third Global Status Report on Road Safety identified legislative and/or enforcement gaps related to all five risk factors (speed, drink-driving, helmets, seatbelts and child restraints). For example, urban speed limit in Thailand is one of the highest in the world at 80 km/h; there is no BAC limit specific for novice or young drivers; seatbelts in the rear seats are not required; and there is no child restraint law. Enforcement also remains a major challenge for Thailand. Despite a good helmet law, Thailand scores 6 out of 10 on helmet enforcement.

The World Health Organization Country Office for Thailand supports the country in improving road safety. WHO commissioned Thailand’s Road Safety Institutional and Legal Assessment with the financial support from the Bloomberg Philanthropies. The assessment revealed legislative improvement needs for speed, drink driving, enforcement, helmets, seatbelts and child restraints. WHO also successfully advocated for the establishment of the Working Group to Review Road Safety Legislation under the national Road Safety Directing Center (RSDC). The Working Group submitted to the Cabinet for approval a set of road safety legislative amendments with an aim that they are effective and enforced by the end of 2016.

WHO works with the national counterparts under its Country Cooperation Strategy to develop an integrated national road safety data system. The system integrates road traffic fatality data from major sources including the Ministry of Public Health, the Royal Thai Police and the Road Accident Victims Protection Company. It enables Thailand to report its road traffic fatality data more accurately for the Global Status Reports and helps stakeholders to develop evidence-based road traffic injury interventions.

WHO collaborated with the Bureau of Non-Communicable Diseases to strengthen the capacity of Regional and Provincial Surveillance Rapid Response Teams in carrying out traffic injury investigations across the country. The collaboration led to an improved investigation guideline and a set of recommendations for community measures to tackle traffic injuries at provincial level.

To enhance Thailand’s ability to comply with international safety standards, WHO supported the country to implement a pilot project to promote the use of child restraints in four regions of Thailand. Apart from a set of recommendations, the project led to a ministerial recommendation urging provincial hospitals across the country to promote the use of child restraints.

Under the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety, WHO supported the establishment of the Legal Development Programme (LDP) to nurture and build capacity of selected advocates to improve road safety legislation. The LDP members have been active in legislative improvement efforts including the RSDC’s working group to review road safety legislation, the Royal Thai Police’s Land Traffic Act Improvement Consultative Group, technical panel discussions to inform amendment particulars and advocacy through online platforms. The Initiative also improves media coverage on road safety. Through a fellowship programme, selected journalists develop an in depth understanding of road safety and improve their investigative reporting skills. Senior journalists and road safety experts help mentor the fellows to nurture their genuine interest in road safety.

These efforts support Thailand in achieving the goals of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2010-2010) and the Sustainable Development Goal target 3.6 “to halve the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020”.


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For more information please contact:
World Health Organization
Country Office for Thailand
4th Fl.,Permanent Secretary Bld 3
Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi
Tel: +6625918198, Fax: +6625918199