There have been 14 fewer road deaths this year compared to last year during the first three days of the so-called “seven dangerous days” of the Songkran holiday.
While 167 people were killed in road accidents this year, 181 died last year.However, 1,795 injuries and a total of 1,743 accidents were reported, which is ahead of last year’s 1,777 people injured in 1,661 accidents, Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul told a press conference at the Road Safety Centre yesterday.
Nakhon Ratchasima was the most dangerous province with nine fatalities, while Chiang Mai had the most accidents (83) and the most injured (86).
On Thursday alone, 748 accidents nationwide killed 79 people and injured 752 people. Most accidents involved motorcycles (80.2 per cent), followed by pickup trucks (7.0 per cent). The major causes were drunk driving (48.8 per cent) and speeding (27.5 per cent).
Slightly over a third (34.6 per cent) took place on highways and 35.7 per cent on rural roads. The 4pm to 8pm time period was the most accident-prone, accounting for 32.9 per cent of crashes.
According to the centre’s report for Thursday, 64,141 officials manning 2,043 checkpoints nationwide and 136,509 motorists were cited for traffic violations, mostly for driving without a licence (36,457 cases), driving or riding a motorcycle without a helmet (38,746 cases) and driving a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt (17,344 cases).
As most people had already returned to their hometowns and were celebrating the Thai New Year with their families and friends, authorities focused on enforcing the law at various public places particularly Songkran-designated zones.
The Interior Ministry has suggested several measures to provincial officials, local administrators, kamnan and village headmen to stop the inebriated from driving. They included ensuring that parking was available at Songkran events, and having organisers hold vehicle keys and refusing to return them to anyone deemed too intoxicated to drive.
Authorities were instructed to dispatch teams to talk with the families of anyone known for drinking and causing a disturbance, shooting a gun at the sky, or speeding.
Officials would also focus on establishments and parties where alcohol was being consumed to prevent anyone driving under the influence. Transport on rivers and the sea ws also monitored.
In Phang Nga’s Takua Thung district, Somchai Sumanascharoenkul, deputy director-general of the Marine Department, inspected wharfs to ensure the safety of visitors to Phang Nga Bay.
Meanwhile Bangkok Metropolitan Police Bureau reported that they had arrested a total of 9,805 traffic law violators during April 11-13-most of whom (3,282) failed to wear helmets.