Midweek rant: Thai Road Safety campaign 7 – 7 – 7…..more like 555
Campaigns to do something about the appalling carnage on Thai roads are no laughing matter.
But when I saw the latest idea to stop the terrible death toll it is hard not to.
The idiocy of some of those tasked with saving lives is nothing short of scandalous.
Because they are taking the public for mugs.
This week we saw the inane smiling faces of the “Three Stooges” from the Communications Ministry headed by their boss Arkhom.
They were all grinning for the cameras as they explained how their “7-7-7” campaign would help.
Apparently, we were asked to believe, by splitting up the “deadly” New Year period into seven day lots this was going to somehow help save lives.
No one said how.
In fact they were more interested in explaining how PTT gas stations would give over space so that those ridiculous tents “serving the public convenience” could be set up to do their vital work.
More unexplained ways to save lives by sitting about doing squat all, I expect.
Every New Year or Songkran it is the same.
Another absurd sound bite in the name of doing something.
This time they said they would stop road repairs for a few days.
Other times they have arranged trips to the morgues.
Crackdowns are mounted – and like travelling in pick-ups they just get media attention for a week or two before they are ignored and another nonsensical scheme is mooted.
There is never any coordination between relevant authorities.
They just try to outdo each other in coming up with the most eye-catching and pointless suggestions.
But as 60 people a day succumb on the roads – maybe more – seeing Arkhom and his cronies having a laugh and a joke with the media in front of their “7-7-7” banner backdrop was anything but amusing.
It was downright offensive.
To the millions who have died, lost loved ones or have a handicapped family member to look after.
The government that came in – well burst in - on a wave of returning happiness to the people has done nothing about one of the biggest killers and something that is a massive national disgrace.
A disgrace that is increasingly being shared worldwide in the days of social media.
They let their ministry minions come up with scatterbrain ideas without sanction.
No one cares.
Do we have to wait until someone says it is affecting tourism before action is taken?
It is a situation that will never get better unless there is a determined and prolonged political will to instigate positive change. In the meantime it will just continue to get worse until the next million are dead.
Corruption needs to be stamped on. Driver training needs to improve. Getting a license needs to be an achievement, not a payment. The people need to be held responsible. The police need to uphold the laws that themselves need to be amended.…the list goes on and on.
But none of this has a prayer of success if the powers that be just show lip service to the problem.
7-7-7 is just 555.
But I’m not laughing.
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