A total of 1,322 road accidents on the first three of the "seven dangerous days" of the New Year holiday period claimed 161 lives and caused 1,390 injuries, the Road Safety Centre reported Monday.
As these three days were the time that people travelled upcountry and traffic jams were common, Nakhon Ratchasima, as the gateway to the Northeast, saw the highest accumulated numbers of deaths at 15, injuries at 62 and accidents at 51.
Across the board the accumulated figures were slightly higher than in the same three-day period last year, when 1,321 accidents killed 147 people and injured 1,361 others.
Only two provinces – Chaiyaphum and Samut Songkhram – were without road accidents.
Dr Amnuay Gajeena, deputy permanent secretary of the Public Health Ministry, said there were 456 accidents this Sunday alone, killing 75 people and injuring 503 others. The highest proportion of accidents were caused by drunk driving at 39.47 per cent and speeding at 30.26 per cent.
Most accidents involved motorcycles, at 78.48 per cent. They mostly took place on a straight highway section (60.09 per cent) and occurred between 4pm and 8pm, while the victims were mostly from the working-age group (60.56 per cent).
At the 2,261 main checkpoints, manned by 65,009 officials, 100,181 people were charged with violating traffic laws, mostly for failing to show a driver’s licence (30,479 cases) and riding motorbikes without helmets (27,762 cases), Amnuay said.
Now that most people have reached their destinations, such as their home towns or tourist attractions, and started their celebrations, officials have been instructed to set up checkpoints for drunk drivers, speeding motorists and motorcyclists without helmets, especially Monday and tomorrow, said Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chatchai Phromlert.