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Zebra crossings please STOP

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Nearly 90% of vehicles do not stop at crosswalks in Bangkok despite the presence of pedestrians, says a Thai Health Promotion Foundation (ThaiHealth) study.

A study was carried out by ThaiHealth and the ThaiRoads Foundation from Jan 25-27 at 12 spots across the capital following a fatal road accident that killed a woman doctor on a pedestrian crossing last month.

The 12 spots were:

  • Big C hypermarket in the Saphan Kwai area
  • All Seasons Place
  • Soi Phahon Yothin 19
  • Soi Pra Di Phat 19
  • Bhumirajanagarindra Kidney Institute Hospital
  • Soi Sukhumvit 21
  • Soi Sukhumvit 33
  • Yingcharoen Market
  • Queen Sirikit Park
  • Soi Ekkamai 2
  • Soi Latya 3
  • Rajavithi Hospital

Rungarun Limlahaphan, director of ThaiHealth’s Social Risk Factor Control, said on Saturday that a total of 14,353 vehicles — 7,619 personal cars, 6,449 motorcycles and 285 public vehicles — were monitored in the study, and 89% failed to stop for pedestrians crossing the road. Motorcyclists were the worst offenders (92%), followed by cars (86%) and public vehicles (80%).

Some 94% of vehicles failed to stop at crossings around Bhumirajanagarindra Kidney Institute Hospital where ophthalmologist Dr Waraluck Supawatjariyakul was hit, despite intense media coverage of the tragedy, Ms Rungarun said.

“Road safety requires cooperation from everyone. Children must also be taught about it,” said Ms Rungarun. “A crosswalk is designed to create safety for pedestrians, so motorists must slow their speed on approach. We must prevent a recurrence of the incident,” she added, referring to the doctor’s tragic death.

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