Holidaymakers flood back to capital; fewer road deaths
After spending time with families to celebrate the New Year, revellers from all over the Kingdom headed back to the capital yesterday, ready for the first working day of 2013.Highways leading to Bangkok were congested as the Public Health Ministry yesterday warned hospitals and emergency medical service teams in the provinces near Bangkok to stand by in view of the heavy traffic.
The second bus terminal in Nakhon Ratchasima was crowded with passengers and thousands who had not reserved their tickets in advance had to wait for hours to board a bus.
Two bus terminals in Chiang Mai were also full to capacity and extra buses and trains were needed to take passengers to Bangkok.
At Hat Yai railway junction, every trip was packed, including those from the southernmost provinces to Bangkok.
The cumulative death toll reached 254 deaths during the first five days of the seven dangerous days in the New Year period, with 2,454 injuries in 2,351 road accidents. The totals, however, were down on last year's record of 283 deaths, 2,783 injuries and 2,544 road accidents, according to the Road Safety Centre's press briefing yesterday.
Trat recorded no accidents and was one of 11 provinces having no road deaths, as of the press briefing yesterday.
Nakhon Pathom still tops the death toll with 12 fatalities, while Chiang Mai had the most injuries - 105 - and the most accidents at 104.
On Monday alone, the country saw 52 deaths and 556 injuries in 524 accidents.
One of the more severe accidents was reported yesterday, leaving five dead and seven injured after a pickup collided with a coach in Chumphon's Lang Suan district.
Eleven of the victims were travelling in the pickup while all the passengers in the coach were safe, but the coach driver received head injuries.
Police said the pickup drove against the traffic stream and youngsters were racing with other young people on a motorcycle when the pickup and the coach collided.