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Thailand Bus Crash: 14 killed and More than 20 Injured

An incident happened on Tuesday in western Thailand, a bus en route from Bangkok to Songkhla province met with an accident, resulting in the loss of 14 lives and leaving more than 30 individuals injured.

Thailand Bus Crash: 14 killed and More than 20 Injured

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The incident occurred in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, a coastal region nestled between the Gulf of Thailand and Myanmar, as the bus, carrying 49 passengers, veered off the road and collided with a tree near Hat Wanakorn National Park.

The aftermath of the crash with the front of the bus split in half, and rescuers spending several hours deceased and wounded.

The speculation points to the possibility that the bus driver might have fallen asleep at the wheel. Pol. Col. Weerapat Ketesa, the superintendent of the Huay Yang Police Station, indicated that an investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the crash.

A critical aspect of this investigation is awaiting the results of a blood test on the surviving driver. The driver, who sustained injuries in the accident, is under scrutiny to ascertain if fatigue or any other factors to the incident.

Thailand is one of the highest road accident rates globally. According to data from the World Health Organization, approximately 20,000 people lose their lives on Thai roads each year.

This figure underlines an issue of road safety, leading to thousands of fatalities annually. In 2022 alone, 15,000 lives were lost on Thailand’s roads, a contrast to the road-related death toll in the UK, which, having a lower population, recorded only 1,700 fatalities.

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The high incidence of road accidents in Thai is attributed to various factors, including poor safety standards, inadequate road infrastructure, and lax enforcement of traffic regulations.

The country’s roads, though suitable for high-speed travel, often lack proper lighting and markings, increasing the likelihood of accidents.

Speeding violations are penalized, with low fines and occasional non-collection, contributing to a culture of lax adherence to speed limits.

The number of road-related fatalities, there is little public demand for improved road safety in Thailand. The issue rarely takes center stage during election campaigns, and the lack of public pressure contributes to the status quo.

Helmet-wearing, a safety measure, is almost universally unenforced in Thai, unlike in neighboring countries such as Vietnam and Indonesia. Furthermore, alcohol consumption, another factor in road accidents.

An aspect is that a majority of road accident victims in Thai, over 70%, are motorbike riders, typically from the poorest sectors of society.

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Rural roads witness a number of accidents, and the lack of enforcement and safety measures disproportionately affects those with limited resources.

The socioeconomic impact of road accidents affecting families, communities, and the overall well-being of the nation.

The bus crash in Prachuap Khiri Khan province has again brought the issue of road safety to the forefront. The collision resulted in the loss of 14 lives and left 35 individuals hospitalized for injuries.

Rescuers faced conditions, spending hours extricating victims from the wreckage, with images showing the bus split in half and parts of the tree embedded in the vehicle.

While the Thailand government has implemented some measures to address road safety, the effectiveness of these initiatives remains a subject of debate.

The nature of penalties for speeding, coupled with low fines and lenient consequences, fails to serve as a sufficient deterrent. Additionally, the lack of disqualification of drivers, even in cases of repeated offenses.

Comparisons with other countries the severity of Thailand’s road safety challenges. The higher number of road-related fatalities in Thailand, even in comparison to countries with similar or larger populations.

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