The aim has been set in previous years as well but has so far proved elusive.
The 14th Thailand Road Safety Seminar had as its theme “Play your part and share the road”. The annual event aims to reduce Thailand’s high road fatality rate which is usually in the world’s top five countries.
Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan presided over the opening ceremony. In his keynote address, he cited the appallingly high number of road deaths – more than 21,000 each year, an average of 60 per day – the permanent disability of more than 6,000 people and the resultant 500 billion baht in economic losses.
According to the World Health Organisation, Thailand has the highest road fatality rate in ASEAN and the ninth in the world at the moment, losing 32.7 people per 100,000 population.
The two-day event focussed on integrating all road safety solutions into one synergy comprising all relevant government agencies, non-profit organisations, and the public and private sectors. This year’s seminar centered on protecting pedestrians, cyclists, moped riders and motorcyclists, who are termed “Vulnerable Road Users” by the World Health Organisation.