Road death toll falls during first two days of Songkran but accidents increase

national April 14, 2017 01:00

By The Nation

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During the same twoday period last year there were 116 deaths and 981 people injured in 907 accidents. 

The Road Safety Directing Centre said yesterday that Nakhon Ratchasima had the most fatalities with six deaths, while Chiang Mai had the most accidents and the most injuries at 51 cases and 48 people respectively.

Meanwhile, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) deputy spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said a total of 32,782 drinkdriving violations were reported on Wednesday and 30,071 of the cases would be forwarded for further legal action. More than 430 motorcycles were also impounded.

As for public and private vehicles, authorities found 27,337 violations and impounded 102 vehicles, suspended 1,497 drivers’ licences and sent 25,549 people to face further legal action.

During a press conference at the Road Safety Directing Centre, Public Health Ministry deputy permanent secretary Suwanchai Wattanayingcharoenchai said there were 48 deaths and 630 injuries in 586 crashes nationwide on Wednesday alone, the second day of the campaign. 

Most accidents involved motorcycles (77 per cent) and the major causes were drunk driving (42.32 per cent) and speeding (30.38 per cent).

About 36 per cent of accidents took place on highways and 39 per cent on rural roads. The period between 4pm to 8pm was the most accidentprone, seeing 31 per cent of crashes, while over half of the incidents involved drivers aged between 15 and 49 years old.

About 63,000 officials who are manning 2,025 checkpoints nationwide arrested 110,609 motorists for violations, mostly for failure to present a driver’s licence (31,366 cases) or failure to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle (32,077 cases), he added.

Highways and transport hubs remained crowded on Wednesday as many continued to travel back to their hometowns up country for Songkran.

A source at Transport Co Ltd said 10,000 travellers were stranded for hours at Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal on Wednesday night, despite the company increasing bus trips to 2,687 for the holiday. The problem was caused by a strike by privatelyrun buses reportedly against NCPO-backed traffic regulations, especially a requirement for all passengers to wear seat belts. 

Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, who inspected the terminal that night, said the government would not compromise on passengers’ safety.

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