In order to monitor road safety adherence, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has ordered the Transport Ministry to install GPS systems in public buses. This GPS technology will be able to track the location and speed of drivers on the road at any time.
This can come in handy for Thailand who face challenges of road safety.The country is being challenged with the second highest rate of road fatality in a 2013 survey by World Health Organisation.
The Thai government has also banned the operating licenses for new double decker buses. The Thai Transportation Association however cited ‘’human errors’’ as the main cause of accidents and not the technical structure of the buses. This will make GPS technology more relevant in curbing the high rate of road traffic accidents in Thailand.
"Double-decker buses are not the real cause of road accidents and the ban on double-decker buses doesn't mean the death toll from road accidents will be reduced," said Wasuchet Sophonsathien, the group's president.
Mr Sophonsathien added that the 20,000 buses currently in operation already meet safety standards.
The Thai government has also enforced a tilt test for all buses of 3.8 metres or higher to see if they can move in move in stability even with a 30 degree tilt angle. This test adds further security to the GPS technology to eliminate both structural design and human errors as causes for road accidents.
GPS technology has been an emerging precautionary and monitoring tool for safety of public transport.
Just this week, an entire fleet of 140 school buses in a Washington district has been installed with GPS devices.
GPS technology in public transport not only functions as a tracking device. It is also a form of deterrent to unsafe road practices. A bus driver will take more precaution and adopt road safety measures knowing that their vehicular usage is being constantly monitored.
This move is an encouraging and positive step by the Thai government in taking a firm reaction towards the spike in road deaths during the New Year period between 29 Dec to 4 January.