7,836 Thai kids killed in Road Accidents 2000-2011

7,836 Thai kids killed in Road Accidents 2000-2011


With the start of the new school year in Thailand, the focus is back again on student safety. One area that is a cause of concern is the journey to and from school. Many students arrive at school by motorcycle with their parents or a motorcycle taxi driver. Unfortunately,  although the adults are wearing helmets, not so many of the children are protected. According to the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center’s records, 7,836 children under 15 years old were killed in road accidents during 2000 – 2011. This is an average of 653 child per year. Many of these children died from head injuries.


It is a matter of urgency that schools and local administrations conduct publicity campaigns about the dangers of motorcycles. The BMA in Bangkok got off to a good start yesterday by distributing 120,000 motorcycle helmets. But a lot more needs to be done to educate the parents. In particular the ones that take babies and toddlers on motorcycles. When you have an accident on a motorcycle it is instinct to put out your hands to cushion the blow as you hit the ground. But what happens if that person has a baby in their hands? Sadly I’ve seen a few accidents like these. Most babies have no chance of survival.

Should parents who take babies and toddlers on motorcycles be charged with child abuse and neglect? Are the police turning a blind eye because they know that these families cannot afford to buy a car? What do you think?

11 thoughts on “7,836 Thai kids killed in Road Accidents 2000-2011

  1. Isnt the question somewhat rhetorical? Not wearing a helmet is an offence, riding a bike underage is an offence, but taking a baby on a bike is not an offence as far as i am aware. If you are looking for “child abuse” look no further than the 74% of school kids who say they are hit by a teacher at least once a month. That is abuse because Thai law says so, but it is equally ignored by teachers and authorities alike. Thai teachers are an utter disgrace, NO teacher should break the law as it sets the wrong examples.

    1. It is a road offence if you ride a motorcycle in an unsafe manner. I think having a toddler on the handlebars comes under that. As for babies, I think they can be fined for not wearing a helmet. There are always ways.

      Where did you get the statistic that 74% of school children are “abused” by their teachers? And who says if a teacher hits a child it is ignored? To say “Thai teachers are an utter disgrace” is not really fair. I have been teaching in Thailand for 19 years and I can tell you that the teachers that I have met are among the most kind and loving people in the world. The majority are really devoted to their students and treat them like family members. Of course, every barrel has bad apples but the majority are good.

  2. Road safety is not a priority in Thailand. The right to own and drive a vehicle and transport as many people as one sees fit, regardless of one’s ability to drive or (lacking) knowledge of risks and safety, is.

  3. The 74% was in an MoE study about 3 years ago (published on the old OBEC website) so could be dated i agree, but i doubt it. Lets assume the number of teachers who hit is 50% (just for the sake of the argument). Reme,ber all forms of hitting are illegal not just the serious cases. Ask ANY of the other 50% if they have ever seen another teacher hit a child and all of them will say yes. Then ask them what they did about it and all of them will say “nothing”. That makes them complicit in the sense that they are failing torptect the children in their care and also failing to report a criminal offence! If you have been teaching for many years i would ask you the same two questions.

    1. I have seen it and I do say something. I was the person who led the campaign 19 years ago to outlaw this practice in my school. This was before the government took it up. But as far as I know, they only banned caning of the students. There was a discussion about 5 years ago that there was still a need for some form of corporal punishment in order to maintain discipline. As far as I know, these are guidelines and certainly not “law” or even a “criminal offence”. But, I will double check that for you. I will write a blog on this one day, but I have noticed that after my school outlawed caning that discipline among the students went down. Today it is nothing like it was in the past. With the big class sizes compared to the ones in the West, it is not easy for the teachers to maintain discipline. Some of the younger kids can be really naughty if left unchecked. Obviously if you outlaw one thing you need to replace it with something else. I’m not sure if schools have a good alternative.

  4. The argument about whether it is good or bad is a different matter entirely. Teachers should not break the law, period. There are several MoE guidelines but the law is the 2005 Childrens Act which outlawed all forms of corporal or physical punishment. It also removed the prvious ability for parents to “give permission”. It also states clearly that the offence is the criminal offence of assault. This in itself is an issue as it means only the perpetrator can be charged. It also requires a “complainant”. Directors etc cannot be held liable and therefore they do little to stop it. MoE “guidelines” state that any teacher who hits a child should be immediately dismissed and their licence reviewed. As you know that doesnt happen.

  5. and how many are injured and how many die of injuries
    I still find it amazing that no one has ever died of injuries sustained during songkran.
    Also what constitutes a road death?

  6. I understand that motorcycles are many people only vehicle here but some people in the west do not have a car also but still know that it is not a reason to carry kids on motorcycles. All these “poor” people riding motorcycles in Thailand should be jailed and their kids should be taken from them. I can understand that adults want to die and I feel nothing for them for all the stupid things they do, but kids are innocent and should be protected !

  7. I believe Thai religion like many other preach re-incarnation I only hope if that’s the case God will include a brain this time

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