THE DEATH toll on the roads over the first four days of the long Songkran holiday’s “seven dangerous days” was lower than during the same period last year, according to the Road Safety Centre.
Between Tuesday and Friday, 226 people were killed in road accidents, compared to 259 during the same period last year.
However, the numbers of accidents and injuries were higher. There were 2,385 accidents during the first four days, with 2,457 people injured, the agency announced yesterday.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said that on Friday alone, 642 accidents claimed the lives of 57 people and saw 664 others injured.
After four days of the accident-monitoring period, there were 12 provinces without road deaths and four without injuries related to road accidents.
Chiang Mai became the province with the highest number of road accidents, with 114 over the first four days.
Nakhon Ratchasima had the highest death toll with 13 people during the four-day period, Arkhom said, adding that Chiang Mai had the highest number of injured people in road accidents, with 119 people casualties.
On Friday, drunk driving remained the biggest cause of accidents, Arkhom said. Drunkenness was attributed to 315 accidents, or 44 per cent of all road mishaps.
Meanwhile, authorities impounded 3,460 vehicles and took legal action against some 200,000 people for drunk driving during the first three days of the “seven dangerous” days, a spokeswoman of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) said yesterday.
NCPO spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong told a press conference that 2,633 motorcycles and 827 four-wheel vehicles were impounded between Wednesday and Friday.
She said 110,826 motorcyclists and pillion riders and 91,697 motorists faced legal action during the three-day period.
On Friday alone, authorities seized 1,219 motorcycles and took action against 39,759 motorcyclists. They also seized 401 four-wheel vehicles and took action against 30,854 motorists.
Yesterday also saw heavy traffic in certain roads as Songkran celebrants returned early to the capital.
Roads in Nakhon Sawan leading to Bangkok became jammed with vehicles as people headed back from the North.
As congested intersections in Nakhon Sawan, traffic police controlled traffic lights to enable longer green-light intervals for traffic headed to Bangkok.
Meanwhile, Bangkok-bound traffic on Phetchkasem Road through Phetchaburi, known as the “gate to the South”, was also heavier yesterday with holidaymakers returning home.
The traffic was still flowing but slow at certain spots. Police also temporarily closed U-turn points on Phetchakasem from Khao Yoi district to Cha-am to avoid accidents. Local |officials teamed up with the Army to erect tents for motorists to stop, rest |and receive urgent car services along the way from Khao Yoi to Cha-am.