Background Following the United Nations General Assembly resolution 64/255 proclaiming a “Decade of Action for Road Safety 2010–2020”, Thailand developed a Road Safety Master Plan and established an inter-ministerial coordinating mechanism. Road safety legislation and proper enforcement are essential for achievement of the Road Safety Master Plan. Half way through the Decade, it is vital to review the established road safety management structures and existing legislation to identify areas of further improvement.
Methods An institutional and legislative assessment was conducted outlining institutions involved in national road safety activities, their roles and responsibilities. The legislative review explained the steps and timeframes of road safety legislation and specified parliamentary committees and other institutions involved in the process. A preliminary review of national road safety laws and regulations was conducted, taking into account previous analyses and reviews.
Results Thailand has a lead institution and a national structure to drive the Road Safety Master Plan. It is complemented by sub-committees following the UN’s Five Pillars. Despite these mechanisms, the structures rely mainly on politicians who are members to hundreds other committees, resulting in sporadic meetings and dysfunctional operation. Evidences suggest that mismanagement of manpower, ineffective enforcement and the public awareness of road safety laws contributed to the status quo. The review shows that Thailand has most of the necessary laws, yet road traffic fatalities remain high. Several areas for new legislation and amendments were identified along with the need for clearer regulations for strengthened enforcement.
Conclusions To achieve the Master Plan Thailand needs to improve its road safety management system, make coordination at all levels more effective, strengthen law enforcement including heavier penalties, amend several road safety laws and promulgate new laws.
- Institutional assessment
- road safety
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