Last year, the bustling streets of Thailand witnessed a significant rise in road accidents involving delivery riders – eighty-one to be precise. Sadly, these accidents resulted in 28 fatalities and left 36 riders in severe physical distress. The culprits of these unfortunate incidents? Predominantly, reckless speeding, lane indiscipline, distracted driving due to mobile phone usage, and an incessant rush to meet delivery deadlines.
Kongkarn Takhiranrit, the incumbent director of the Social Risk Control Office at the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (also known as ThaiHealth) shed some light on this issue. She revealed a rather grim statistic – delivery riders and motorcycle taxis figure in the majority of Thailand’s road accident death toll.
She elaborated on the sobering scenario by providing some numbers. Currently, Bangkok is home to 5,556 motorcycle taxi service stations with a registered rider strength of 84,547. In her expert opinion, hastily driving through complex traffic scenarios without proper risk assessment is a widespread problem among these riders.
There’s a clear gap in defensive driving skills, and this deficit is contributing to the growing accident count. The riders certainly require detailed, focused defensive driving training to tackle this issue and minimize the occurrence of such mishaps.
On this note, the Social Risk Control Office held a seminar recently under the umbrella of the safety management subcommittee for delivery riders and motorcycle taxis. The objective was to emphasize the importance of road safety and to educate the riders on the best practices to adhere to.
At this seminar, Kongkarn highlighted a ray of hope. They have chalked out defensive driving guidelines specifically for delivery riders and motorcycle taxis. This initiative was a collaborative effort involving ThaiHealth, the Thailand Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Labour Ministry, and the Road Safety Policy Foundation.
This cause also received the backing of Purple Ventures Co Ltd (Robinhood), Road Safety Thailand, and the Delivery Riders Association. These organizations further bolstered the project by providing financial support.
Sombat Puttasamrit, the business development manager at SCG Skills Development Co Ltd, also spoke at the event. He shared the company’s plans to collaborate with ThaiHealth and Road Safety Thailand to provide comprehensive defensive driving training courses. These courses aim to benefit those who make their living as delivery and motorcycle taxi riders in Thailand.
The curriculum will project the spotlight on areas such as traffic law, mental preparedness, fatigue management, risk assessment, and managing expected as well as unexpected situations on the road. The ultimate goal is to make safety a habit and spread this awareness through the rider networks, thus fostering a safer driving environment across the land.