Background Global Status Report on Road Safety (WHO) 2015, 2018, reported Thai motorcycle rider death rates from road crash at 26.3 and 24.3 per 100,000 population at the top most rank in the world. These were about 80% percent of the road fatalities. Thailand has economic loss from injuries, disabilities and deaths from motorcycle crashes in 2017–2019 as high as 3 times of the income from exporting the motorcycles and parts in the same period.
Aims To identify and describe the upstream problem factors contributing to the continuously high death rates in motorcycle riders from 2003 till 2020.
Methods Literature review was conducted using analysis framework of 4 components: 1) road and infrastructure 2) vehicular factors - motorcycle safety standards, specification and legislation 3) human factors in education and licensing system and 4) transportation safety management systems. Gaps in motorcycle safety were identified and presented in several meetings of road safety partners, multisectoral experts and government organizations concerned up to the meeting of committee from the senators.
Results The unique finding was all 4 components are obstructing or hindering the changes required for motorcycle safety.
Conclusion Put the blame on the victims is commonly used by those who do not want to change the serious status quo of motorcycle safety.
Learning Outcomes Motorcycle safety in Thailand can be developed in very effective pace if there is road hierarchy and safety standards of roads, changes in policy to focus on road safety as much as traffic flow; and improved road transport safety management including legislation and enforcement. Societal awareness and demand for safety and accountability are the keys. Industry and government will adjust itself. Do not rely solely on government actions.
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