Thai media has laid the blame for much of Thailand’s appalling motorcycle rider death toll at the door of bad brakes.

If all bikes had ABS systems thousands less could die every year, they reported.

Sanook said in their headline that the seven deadly days of New Year had shown that Thailand led the world in bike deaths with 80% of all victims on motorcycles.

They said that a million new bikes were hitting the roads each year but few had decent brakes.

Most of the ones fitted with ABS were exported.

They said that the antilock braking system would help riders even on slippery roads. Much of the problem was not bad riding but the brakes, they claimed.

Even experienced riders died as a result of bad brakes, they said.

Dr Wiwat Sitamanote who liaises between the government and the WHO said that Thais in general don’t realize the importance of good brakes. He said that accidents could be lowered by 33% with ABS.

Sanook said that two million bikes were produced in Thailand each year but half of those were exported with many having ABS.

Theerapong Rortprasert of the Communications Ministry said that moves were being made to force manufacturers to install ABS on bikes for the Thai market.

He said that at least 6,000 and 9,000 lives could be saved over a five year period if all bikes had the system.