Thailand Accident Research Center


Knowledge Dissemination to Improve Road Safety for Rural Community

Sponsor:  Toyota Motors Thailand, Co.Ltd
Status:  Completed
Project period:  2008-2009

In the past decades, the majority of motor vehicle fatalities in Thailand occur on two-lane rural roads.  According to the accident data collected by the Department of Highways and the Royal Thai Police from 2003-2006, there were 53,329 crash fatalities for all road categories, 85% of which are the crashes on rural roads.

The necessity of this project has been initiated from the previous project, the Road Safety Audit (RSA) for Four National Highways. Several potential safety problems were observed on minor roads in rural areas.  During the RSA training, the participants from many road authorities such as the Department of Rural Highways (DORH), the Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO), and the Sub-district Administrative Organization (SAO)) also raised several concerns over road accident problems on rural and community roads.  Therefore, safety improvements for rural and local roads are urgently needed.

In addition, there have been inherent problems in establishing road safety improvement programs for rural communities. Budget constraints and time delay in implementing safety measures imply increases in road accident exposure of road users in rural communities to encounter accident risks and safety hazards. There is little attention on cost-effective strategies to improve road safety which leads to a common misunderstanding among road authorities that road safety improvement requires a large amount of government budget. Indeed, there is a lack of attention to allocating existing resources and making cost-effective use of available budget in the road safety improvement plan. Accordingly, one way to address these problems explicitly and effectively is to provide knowledge and expertise in identifying the risk of accidents due to rural road environment and in applying low-cost road safety improvement strategies for personnel/staff in concerned agencies at both municipality and community levels  

The objectives of this project are to improve safety on minor rural roads by disseminating relevant knowledge of road safety in several aspects to local communities, and to establish a tripartite (public-private-NGO) partnership in dealing with road accident problems in rural Thailand. In this regard, this project will involve the collaboration among three partners, Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT), Department of Rural Roads (DORH), and Thailand Accident Research Center (TARC), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).