Over 5,000 risky double-decker buses running on the roads

THE Thailand Road safety Network said that there are over 5,000 non-scheduled double-decker buses that are in risky condition with these having registered before 2014, Thai News Agency reported today (March 23).

As 60 double-decker buses were involved in accidents last year, the network pointed that these buses are in fact more suitable for cities and should not go through long steep slopes. It also suggested that safety systems be install on all of them.

This comes after the horrific double-decker bus accident in northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province on Wednesday night that left 18 holidaymakers dead and over 30 injured.

Forensic police were able to collect fingerprints from the steering wheel and gear nob which led to the arrest of Mr Krisana Chuthachen, the driver of this tour bus, who told police that the brakes failed and he could not control the large vehicle which led to the accident.

He added that out of shock he did run away. However as he was injured, police sent him to Pak Thong Chai hospital for treatment first before persuing legal action.

arrested driver

The Land Transport Department has imposed a measure that passenger vehicles higher than 3 and half meters have to be checked for not less that 30 degrees balance, that they have GPS system installed and run it on real time, and that they be checked twice a year.

Drivers too have to undergo not less than 12 hours of training with a driving test on real roads.

The standard for double-decker buses was also changed from not higher than 4.30 meters previously to not higher than 4 meters with this being implemented since March last year.

Thailand Road Safety Network said this tragic accident occurred because the double-decker bus was going at a speed unsuitable for the road. While GPS system was installed to determine the speed, there is however no system to warn the driver he is going too fast.

Figures from the Land Transport Department show there are altogether 7,199 double-decker buses in this country, with 1,986 being public ones running on scheduled routes  and 5,213 coming under non-scheduled category.

Most of the latter where registered before January 1, 2014 when the new measure on 30 degrees turning angle was brought in and they have never been checked and pose an accident risk, the network said.


Top: The accident site in Nakhon Ratchasima where 18 holidaymakers died on Wednesday night. Photo: Thai News Agency

In-text: The arrested driver of the double-decker bus in the horrific accident.  Photo: Thai  News Agency