Report of the WHO in 2018 on the world road safety situation revealed 32.7 deaths per one hundred thousand population in Thailand, or the 9th place of the world and the first in Asia. This rate means over 5 hundred thousand million baht of economic loss. The Local Administrative Organization, Ministry of Interior also reports 85 percent of road accidents and deaths on the road network under the responsibility of the Local Administrative Organization from the whole country. Thus, the road accident situation under the organization’s responsibility is a crisis of the country.
December 2, 2021 at the conference room, 6th Floor, Sirikunakorn Building, Khon Kaen University – Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University signed an MOU for collaboration to support the academic mission on road safety. The collaboration will be carried out by 6 parties: Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Khon Kaen University, Chiangmai University, King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi, Suranaree University of Technology and Prince of Songkhla University. The MOU is effective for 3 years. H.E. Nipon Boonyamanee, Minister of the Ministry of Interior presided over the MOU signing ceremony. Among witnesses on Khon Kaen University’s part were Assoc. Prof. Panomchai Weerayutsin, Ph.D., Vice Dean for Administration of the Faculty of Engineering; Prof. Wanchai Sata, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure Research and Development; Prof. Panakrit Khlungboonkhrong, Ph.D., Director of the Upper Northeast Traffic Management Center; Assoc. Prof. Chalermchai Pawatana, Ph.D., Prof. Thanes Sathiannam, Ph.D.; Prof. Wichuda Sathiannam, Ph.D.; and Assoc. Prof. Ladda Tanwanitkul, Ph.D., professors from the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Khon Kaen University.
The signers of this MOU included: Mr. Boontham Lertsukheekasem, Director of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM); Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University; Clinical Professor Dr. Niwes Nanthajit, M.D., President of Chiangmai University; Assoc. Prof. Suwit Saetia, Ph.D., President of King Mongkut University of Technology Thonburi; Assoc. Prof. Anan Thongra-a, Ph.D., President of Suranaree University of Technology; and Assoc. Prof. Sunthorn Wongsiri, M.D., Vice President for Research and Innovation, Acting President of Prince of Songkhla University.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D. said, “Khon Kaen University is pleased to provide academic support for the research work on road safety management and the solution and prevention of road accidents. We are also happy to transfer knowledge and provide consultation to the personnel of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Ministry of Interior in order to solve the crisis related to safety on the roads in the country and to reduce the deaths from road accidents.”
“The collaboration of the 5 universities and DDPM comes from the support of H.E. Nipon Boonyamanee, Minister of the Ministry of Interior, whose intention is to reduce the rate of death from road accidents, which is at present 32.7 per one hundred thousand to 12 cases per one hundred thousand people in 2033. Khon Kaen Province appreciated KKU’s outstanding work in improving the safety on the road and the rate of death has considerably decreased. The knowledge and expertise can be extended into the locality and hopefully the rates of injuries and deaths of the people will be decreased.”
Under this MOU, the 6 parties will collaborate to support the mission on road safety. The universities will disseminate knowledge from research for developing of road safety management to DDPM, and DDPM will support by coordinating with other networks for road safety so that the bodies of knowledge and research outcomes will be applied in their job. This can be considered the upgrading of the quality of work in real practices for benefits of all parts.
DDPM will coordinate with the road safety network to encourage relevant officers and personnel in terms of knowledge necessary and useful for their operations. The universities will provide necessary information related to the operations of officers. The 5 universities will also coordinate and seek funds for research in order to enhance the competence of officers and personnel of DDPM and related networks. This can be in the form of training and conferences or workshops.
The important step of the work under this MOU is the use of knowledge from research on the development of prototype innovation in road safety management in the traffic operations. There is the budget allocated from the National Research Council. On the part of Khon Kaen University, a research study has been carried out with Prof. Panakrit Khlungboonkhrong, Ph.D., Director of the Upper Northeast Traffic Management Center as the project leader, together with Prof. Thanes Sathiannam, Ph.D. and Prof. Wichuda Sathiannam, Ph.D. The outcome of this project is 4 manuals: 1) traffic management for road safety, 2) Defeating traffic problem, 3) Checking road safety, and 4) Managing risk points. These will be publicized and workshops will be organized by DDPM to disseminate knowledge for the staff of the local administrative organizations and the network all over the country. The end results will be the safety on roads and reduction of the rate of deaths from road accidents on the country.
News / Photos: Watchara Noichompoo