First 6 days of New Year Holiday see 332 deaths
The road toll for the first six of the so-called seven dangerous days of the New Year holiday period stood at 332 deaths and 3,037 injuries in 2,884 accidents nationwide, the National Road Safety Centre said yesterday.
Interior Ministry deputy permanent secretary Panadda Diskul reported that from December 27 to January 1 the cumulative death toll exceeded last year's by 17, while the accident count was up by 28 and the number of injuries down by 79. Trat is now the only province not to have reported a single accident.
Chiang Mai had the highest number of accidents at 123 and the most injuries at 128. With 14 deaths, Chiang Mai was second to Nakhon Pathom, with 16. Bangkok ranked third at 13 deaths.
On January 1 alone, 72 people were killed and 583 were injured in 533 road accidents, with the highest death toll for the day reported in Angthong, with eight fatalities, and the highest number of injuries occurring in Nakhon Si Thammarat, at 28. The two most common causes of road accidents were drunk driving (46.90 per cent) and speeding (20.45 per cent), with most of the accidents (82.28 per cent) involving motorcycles.
A total of 104,665 motorists have been ticketed at 2,349 checkpoints, with the most common infractions being (in descending order), failing to wear a helmet, failing to show a driver's licence and failing to wear a seat belt.
Holidaymakers continued to return to Bangkok from upcountry in large numbers yesterday. The Mor Chit and Southern bus terminals, as well as Hua Lamphong Train Station, were crowded and taxis were in short supply.
In related news, Public Health Minister Pradit Sinthawanarong yesterday visited Ayutthaya, one of 15 provinces participating in a pilot project launched by the ministry and police to enforce laws strictly against drunk driving, speeding and driving without wearing helmets or seat belts. He said the stricter enforcement had reduced the number of accidents in the province.
However, only 20 per cent of emergency calls related to traffic accidents were made to the 1669 hotline, Pradit said. He has ordered an assessment of the medical-emergency system, as well as additional measures to support patients with chronic illnesses who require emergency services during the Songkran Festival in April.