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Speed limits in and outside urban area under change to curb traffic fatalities and facilitate driving

Written by Thailand News

The Royal Thai Police and the Ministry of Interior are now considering an amendment to the Land Transport Law that will see  speed limits from 80 kilometres an hour adjusted to 110 kilometres to facilitate driving on highways, and to 60  Kms in urban area.

The 80-km speed limit on some roads has been set by the law since 1979 or over 37 years and was outdated.

Today there have been much improvement on road construction which allows speed of up to 120 kilometres, said Pol Maj Gen Akkarak Limsangkas, a member of the working group on traffic of the Royal Thai Police. 

Under the 1979 land transport  law, speed limit in municipal area was set at 80 kms/hr and 90 Kms  outside municipal area.

He said the law fixed the speed limit at 80-90kms because at that time most roads have only two traffic lanes. 

But now this has changed and therefore the Royal Thai Police commissioner Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda had stressed the need for change of the law  to increase the speed limit to facilitate driving, he said.

The government has already tasked the Ministries of Interior, Transport and the Royal Thai Police to work together for possible adjustment of  speed, particularly on interprovincial highways which have no intersections or crossroads to 105-110 Kms from 80-90 Kms at present.

This would end traffic argument between traffic police and motorists when speed limit was violated, he said.

However he said that the speed adjustment would be based on safety as well, he said.

In addition, spped limits on motorways and expressways would also be fixed  as the land transport law in use now was enacted at the time the country had no motorways and expressways, he said.

Meanwhile Dr Tanapong Chinwong, manager of the Road Safety  Group Thailand, viewed that speed limit in urban area  should be kept to international standards at 50 Kms.

He said the Thai society has overlooked the fatal traffic cases involving pedestrians for a long time.

According to traffic accident statistics in 2017,  8 out 100 fatal traffic cases involved pedestrians, he said.

He said more than 20,000 people died in traffic accidents yearly,  2,000 of them were killed while crossing the roads.

Speed limit at 80 Kms in urban area was blamed as cause of deaths of pedestrians, he said.

He said speed limit change at several urban areas at 60 Kms from  80 Kms was acceptable.

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