The first traffic death of the "seven dangerous days" of the New Year's break was reported last night just hours after the government launched its road safety campaign aimed at cutting casualties this season by 5 per cent.
An unnamed vendor based in Sing Buri, where fatalities this year have been limited by provincial authorities to only three, was killed when a vehicle she was riding in crashed with another vehicle in Muang district. No injuries have been reported.
Last year, 336 people died and 3,375 were injured in 3,093 accidents. A 5-per-cent reduction means no more than 320 deaths and 3,207 injuries.
The Road Safety Centre set up and run by the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation was assigned to oversee six measures – coordination to reduce accidents, checkpoints focused on prevention, community checkpoints, road and road sign repairs, quick access for rescue teams to accident sites and quick transfers to hospitals, and more awareness campaigns for youths and workers.
Highway Police have put up extra checkpoints and will conduct more alcohol and speed checks on stretches of seven roads with the most accidents – Phaholyothin Road in Ayutthaya; Mittrapap Highway in Saraburi’s Muak Lek district, Rama II Road in Samut Sakhon, Route 304 between Prachin Buri’s Kabin Buri district and Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Thong Chai district, Route 348 in Sa Kaew, and a northbound Highway 2 and southward Mittrapap Highway in Nakhon Ratchasima.
No passing will be allowed on these seven roads.
In Bangkok, 1,600 officers from Metropolitan Police have been deployed across the capital, while 10 ambulances and 300 medics have been put on standby for emergencies.
Governor Sukhumband Paribatra said the patrols would cover all transportation terminals, tourist attractions and areas at risk of crime and fire.