Sunday 18 November 2012 was the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims and is held on the third Sunday of November each year. It is the day on which all those killed and injured in road traffic accidents are remembered, together with their families, the emergency services and all others affected or involved in the aftermath.
In 1993 the UK road victim charity Road Peace campaigned nationally and internationally for appropriate acknowledgement for victims of road traffic accidents and their families. This was adopted by the United Nations on 26 October 2005 and the day recognises that road traffic accident victims and their families deserve much greater recognition.
The Royal Thai Police’s annual report for 2011 states that in 2011 there were 68,582 reported road traffic accidents in Thailand, which is a reduction of 18% on the previous year. But 9,205 people died. Worryingly, this is an increase of 19% on the previous year. Additionally there were 17,822 reported injuries, and a further 4,095 serious injuries.
Despite the welcome falling trend in overall accidents reported, the number of deaths and injuries has increased on the 2010 report. 30% of all reported accidents involved motorbikes, accounting for 70% of all road traffic deaths. There has also been a disturbing rise in the number of bus crashes, with an increase of 8% over the previous reporting period, which had seen a downward trend on preceding years. Regrettably, a number of British nationals have found themselves caught up in these incidents, with some having resulted in fatalities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent statement has urged the Thai Authorities to strengthen their enforcement of traffic regulations in order to improve road safety.