Experts at a conference promoting a motorcycle safety campaign have said that Thailand is no. 1 in the world in motorcycle accident deaths, with 5,500 bike riders dying annually on Thailand’s roads.
As a result, they have now called on Thai motorcycle manufacturers to use available technology to limit speeds to 90 kilometers per hour.
According to a report by Manager, an average of 5,500 motorcyclists die annually in Thailand despite measures to try and stop the increase through use of safety helmets, anti-drink driving campaigns and other measures. The problem is particularly bad among teenagers, with some 2,500 under twenties dying on the roads every year.
Experts at the “Safety Bike” conference said that the problem rests with the fact that speed sells but also that speed kills. Local motorcycle manufacturers were often obliged to install safety features for the export market that were not insisted upon for sales locally.
A road safety advisor noted that deaths in motorcycle accidents were going up and up unabated. While the country already has the dubious distinction of being number two in road deaths per capita in the world it was number one in motorcycle fatalities, he said.
“We have all the industrial capabilities with very little of the safety features,” he lamented. But, “there needs to be more regulations for bikes slated for local sale”, he suggested.
Reducing the speed limit for motorcycles to 90 kilometres per hour through available technology was one possible solution.
While the experts accepted that driving habits and helmet use were vital in reducing the number of road deaths the actions of the rider were only one part of the deadly equation.
The campaign leader said: “Everyone always points to the riders themselves but we also need to look closely at the vehicles and the roads”.