The Nation



Network worried about more accidents in the New Year period

The Accident Prevention Network has revealed that the number of road accidents during the New Year 2013 holidays had shown an increase, with about two-thirds of victims dying at the scene and 82 per cent of accidents involved motorcycles.

The network also offered a grim prediction that the upcoming holidays could see more severe road accidents because the government mechanism still lacked an effective preventive plan, while the number of cars had risen and many drivers still had bad driving habits like drunk driving.

The network urged all provinces and local bodies who directly handle road accidents and are effective due to their familiarity with local roads and drunk residents, to set the goal of lowering the number of accidents and implement measures accordingly in this upcoming New Year period. The network also urged cargo trucks to suspend their running during the period to reduce accidents and traffic volumes.

Under the theme titled "Pimai Sanjorn Plodpai, Ruamjai Lod Ubathet" (Together reducing accidents for safe travel in the New Year), the Road Safety Centre with related agencies and alliances had campaigned to reduce accidents by employing stricter measures, particularly from the midnight of December 27 until the midnight of January 2.

Risk-factor analysis

The network, under the sponsorship of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, was also the centre's committee member and recently handed out road safety leaflets to members of various media fields for news presentations that focused on risk-factor analysis, reports of accident-prone spots, and tips for safe journey to the holiday-makers.

Urging all to learn from the previous New Year, the network director Phrommin Kantiya said road accidents during the New Year 2013 holidays had increased by 2.6 per cent, from the previous period's 3,093 cases to 3,176. About 68 per cent of victims had died at the scene.

He said 39 per cent of accidents resulted from drunk driving while 23 per cent were from speeding and the time from 4pm to 8pm saw the most accidents.

More than half (55 per cent) of the casualties were people in the working-age group and January 1, 2013 saw the most number of deaths at 78. He conjectured that many were possibly still tired from the previous day's party, and rushed back to Bangkok to make it to work the next day hence they dozed off behind the wheel. He urged all sides to deal with accident-prone spots as many roads were still under construction or repairs while several roads suffered from poor visibility due to winter fog. He urged motorists to drive with caution and refrain from reckless driving.

The upcoming holidays would see some 1,000 checkpoints for traffic-law violators and another 2,000 checkpoints to accommodate travellers, which used a budget of Bt1 billion in total, while the network's road safety campaign spent Bt5 million, according to Phrommin.

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