Tag Archives: traffic

Bad Driver in Bangkok City, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand is a city that has a high percentage of cars per people. Most single families have at least 2 cars. That is why it is important to consider who the bad drivers of this city are. Bad drivers can be noticed three ways: their car positions in each lane, their lack of concentration while driving and their behavior when they do not drive.

Bad drivers always drive inappropriately in both the right and the left lanes. In fact, Thai driving laws do not include this in the law books, but it really affects real life on the street. These driving laws say just that the faster cars have to be in the right lanes, and the slower cars have to be in the left lanes. The bad drivers drive near the right edge when they are in the right lane, and the mean drivers can get in the right lane, without waiting too easily because the bad drivers leave too much room. All drivers in the right lane should drive near the left edge to prevent those mean drivers, but the bad drivers do not. They just keep driving near the right edge, so every mean driver can cheat other cars. The problems of slower cars in the left lane are similar, too. Regularly, if the drivers drive in the left lane close by the small side road, they will drive near the right edge of the lane. The bad drivers drive near the left edge of the lane and no one from the small side road can come out onto the main street. More than that, in Thai traffic law, the left edge of the left lane is for motorcycles and bicycles. When the bad drivers are there, the motorcycles and bicycles will get stuck or they have to move to the right edge of that lane and make some scratches on other cars.

People who do not pay attention during their driving are also bad drivers. Most of these unconscious drivers are not caught by police if their actions do not hurt other cars or other people. Many people think that using the cell phone may cause drivers to not concentrate, but it is not always like that if those cell phone users concentrate on the street more than the phone. That is because the auto gear allows the drivers to use one hand and one leg to drive. However, if people are good drivers, they will not drive when they are drunk, but the bad drivers do not care how drunk they are, and they go to drive on the street. Their behavior damages other cars and harms other people who are walking along or crossing the street. The research says drunk people’s consciousness is slower than general people. I could see by myself on the street, that drunk drivers do not stop at the right place when the red light appears. Once I saw a drunk driver hit a person at the crosswalk. One of my friends who drove when he was drunk told me, that when he wanted to turned left into a small narrow street, he turned his car too slowly, and his car went up on the walk way where people were walking. He also said he was lucky that no one got hit at the moment. Imagine, if he hit someone, he would go to jail, and I would never see him in the classroom again. Then, he said that he will never be drunk while driving again. I believe that he is a better driver now.

I also believe that we can tell who the bad drivers are, even when they are not. My mother’s friend, who I knew could drive, had been in my mother’s car once. When my mother stopped her car in the left lane, that friend opened the right side door of my mother’s car. This showed that she was a bad driver because the right lane is for the fast cars, so the door and she could be hit by other cars very easily. Another example of how bad drivers act when they are not driving is they do not know where to stand when other people are parking. I know most of them are bad drivers just when I see them make signs behind the cars in the parking area. That is because they stand behind the cars. The drivers will feel uncomfortable to move their cars back. Sometimes, these bad drivers get hurt by the cars because they stand in the wrong place. The reason that I can know that these people are the driver, not just regular people who cannot drive, is they are police and security guards. In Thailand, the police and the security guards have to be able to drive the cars or at least, the motorcycles because in case, the cars get stolen and they have to follow the robber.

As we can see from all these examples, the bad drivers in Thailand are people who are reckless to the others on the street. They are the causes of many accidents, and they disturb many good drivers, and other people. I need those bad drivers to read this essay before driving outside. Only then the streets will be safe for everybody.

All words and photos by Sw Eden (สว อิเฎล)
All photos are street shots in Bangkok, so they do not have to be bad drivers.

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Thai Elephant should not be allowed to walk in the city

Every winter, many American and European visit Thailand as tourists. Many of them stay longer than a month. Many of those countries have their own town in Thailand. Not only China Town which is famous in here, but Thailand also has Swedish Town, Portuguese Town and etc. My parent’s friend, who is working on a Thai resort, told my parent that the thousands of Swedese live around her place. From my eyes and from my heart, I dare to say that those foreigners love Thailand more than many Thais do.

The Elephant is a prominent and permanent identity of Thailand. Thai people should be proud of it. No one can steal this identity from Thailand. Let’s turn some pages of a newspaper, and we can see that Philippino want Thai boxing to be theirs; and some country wants the copyright of Thai jasmine rice. These are the reasons that Thai people should really protect the elephants from danger and extinction. The elephants should not be allowed to walk in the city, because of the inappropriate environment, the dangerous traffic and the harmful construction.

Most Thai people think that the extinction of Thai elephants cannot come true, because Thailand has plenty of elephants. They are right that Thai Elephants are more plentiful than in other countries, but they are much less plentiful than in Thailand in the past. Mr. Wanchai Asawawibulkij showed, “There were 100,000 elephants in the country in 1900 and only about 4,000 today. Of these, only about 1,500 live in the wild, and their numbers are decreasing by 5 to 10 percent annually (Schroeder 25).” if the Thai government still continues to allow the elephants to walk in the city, the number of elephants will decease faster than just 5 to 10 percent.

Naturally, elephants are big wild animals. Surely, they need to breed in the forests that have natural environment for them. A female elephant spends over 20 months in pregnancy, and elephants do not breed so often. “Normally, a female elephant will begin to show readiness to mate when it is approximately 15 – 16 years old. This will last until age of 50 – 55 years (Thailand Elephant)”, although its life is 80 years old. The city’s environment is not appropriate for elephants’ breeding. Imagine, if 1,000 elephants were in the city. If those 1,000 elephants did not breed, we might not know the decrease in the short term, because elephants have longevity. If this generation of elephants had gone, we would not have any elephants after that time. The numbers that Mr. Wanchai Asawawibulkij showed can change fast if there are too many elephants in the city.

Elephants do not only have breeding troubles in the city, the elephants are also endangered on the street. Douglas H Chadwick from National Geographic magazine also wrote that, “Forced to walk long distances to reach city centers each day, the elephants get sick from breathing exhaust fumes, drinking polluted water, and having to snatch meals from trash-filled ditches (Chadwick 98).” Most elephants that are hit from the cars, die because of their big size and the small number of elephant veterinarian. The pain of a big animal such as an elephant is harder to cure than that of small animals, like birds or dogs. Most veterinary students study just for dogs and cats. In Thailand, there are not enough veterinarians who can cure the elephants. Worse than that, there is the only one veterinarian who is an expert. That is Dr. Alongkorn Mahannop. Dr. Alongkorn always has to travel around many places in Thailand, whenever the elephants are sick or in pain. I cannot imagine if he retired, because now he is 57 years old (Thammasat Lib.). Thai people have named him, “the doctor of all aimless elephants”.

While elephants are walking on the street, they really bother the traffic. When elephants’ owners bring the elephants to walk on the street, that is the time they make all drivers hate elephants. This should not be happening, because all Thai people should love elephants. The elephant is a big animal, and walks slowly. The width of an elephant is already one lane of the street. Most streets in Thailand have only two to three lanes. The left lane that elephants use to walk is the lane for the buses and motorcycles. This lane is already busy with those vehicles, and in even busier, because it is the connection between the main street and the small side roads. The reason that the elephants’ owners let their elephants walk on this lane, so that people can enjoy their elephants more easily. Many times, the elephants stop to play with people who pay at feed them. The cars will beep to them long and loudly. That should not happen! The elephant is a very lovely animal.

While the elephants walk in the city, not only them who get hurt from the cars, the humans also can get hurt from the elephants. The city loses control on the people who come to see the elephant. Everybody can touch the elephants freely. Thai elephants are friendly, but they may be in musth sometimes. “The musth in the male elephant can be observed easily. Before a male elephant will be in musth, it will be drowsy, sometimes ferocious and also out of control. It tries to break out of the chain binding and hurts other elephants and persons that it is surrounded by; even its mahout (Thailand Elephant)”. Financial Times reported that, “A young British tourist was killed by an elephant at a Thai resort. Her father and sister were also wounded as they tried to help her (Financial Times 1)”. And also, All friendly animals can harm people when people treat them badly. For this habit, there is nothing different between an elephant and a dog. A video which available on Seedang.com showed, that a drunk guy used a hook to hit an elephant’s head, and the elephant was angry and kill him. The police and other people could not get him out from the elephant. They tried to use fruits and food to induce the elephant. When people could take that drunk man out, the elephant became mad and destroy a car and trees (Daikin News 2007). If elephants are in the right place, where the security guard can check the people who visit elephants, both humans and elephants will be secure.

Before the government makes a law to forbid the elephants from walking in the city, they should know where those elephants will be, and how to feed them. In fact, the elephants’ owners bring the elephant to walk on the street to get the money, because they are poor, and they have to feed the elephant every day. “Adult Elephants eat about 300 pounds of food each day (Library on the Web)”. Bringing the elephant into the city is their only way to get enough money for their elephants. Many elephants’ owners have had the elephants since they were born. If the government can prepare both habitat and food for all elephants in the city, they have to spend a lot of money. The money comes from a tax on all citizens. Surely, some citizens will disagree. They will think they do not get anything from the elephants, so why do they have to pay for them?

The elephants cause very big income for Thailand. In every November, the elephant festival in Surin makes 50-million bahts from foreigners. The people who get that money are folk that used to be poor. If the government pays for elephants, it is the way they disperse the money from the rich to the poor. In the long term, if the poor became middle class people, Thailand will become the developing country. This show that the elephants are very important to the future of the nation.

One of the most important reasons that Thai government should make this law is elephants have been the most important animals since 1,000 years ago. All Thai ancient kings had to have the elephants for their prestige. Catching the elephants was the most popular sport for Thai ancient kings, too. Thailand’s original flag was not like the current Thai flag. Thailand’s original flag was red with a white elephant in the middle. More than that, an ancient carving stone which was made in Sukothai Royal era, over 1,000 years ago, included a story of Thai people’s life about selling working elephants (Sawasdee Magazine). This proof proves that Thai peole’s life and elephants have been closed and cannot be torn apart.

Now, Thai people should just think about this idea to make a law. They may announce how bad and how harmful the city is to the elephants. They may talk about how elephants’ walking in the city may leads to the elephants’ extinction sooner. All Thai educated people are waiting for new hope of the country. That is the time to change the neglected elephants to be the regel elephants as they had been before.

Works Cited

Alongkorn Mahannop. M Supply co. Thammasat University Lib.27 Apr. 2008 .

Chadwick, Douglas H. “Thailand’s Urban Giants.” National Geographic. Oct. 2005. Vol. 208, Iss. 4: pg. 98-115. NYIT Lib.18 Apr. 2008 .

“Elephant kills tourist.” Financial Times. 26 Apr. 2000: 01. NYIT Lib.18 Apr. 2008 .

“Elephant Pregnancy and Giving birth.” The National Elaphant Institute. 18 Nov. 2008 .

“Musth in Elephant.” Daikin News. Oct. 2007: See Dang Video. 18 Nov. 2008 .

Schroeder, Lisa. “Elephants, Pulp & paper industry, Ecotourism.” The Christian Science Monitor. 1 Jul. 2008: 25. NYIT Lib.18 Apr. 2008 .

“Sukhothai.” Sawasdee Magazine. Thai Airways International Public Co. Ltd. 1 Nov. 2002: Mahidol University Lib. 18 Nov. 2008 .

Viger, Yvette. “Elephant.” Library on the Web. Mar. 2007: 27 Nov. 2008 .


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