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New Years Road Deaths Rise in Thailand Despite Governments “No Drink Drive” Campaign

The mounting figures come despite a government campaign to make Thailand’s roads safer, including an increase in police presence and public information campaigns.

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has thanked the authorities who have helped to provide road safety and ensure public safety during the New Year celebrations.

According to Spokesman to the Prime Minister’s Office Lt Gen Sansern Keawkamnerd, Gen Prayut had expressed his gratitude to those working hard to manage traffic and ensure road safety for holidaymakers during the New Year holiday.
However,  mounting figures come despite a government campaign to make Thailand’s roads safer, including an increase in police presence and public information campaigns.

More than 400 people died in road accidents in Thailand over the New Year period, statistics released on Wednesday showed, despite a government road safety campaign in one of the most dangerous countries in the world to drive a car.

The Department of Land Transport said 426 people died in 3,327 accidents between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3, up from 340 in the year-earlier period.

Authorities seized 4,208 vehicles from drunk drivers and charged 59,057 people with drunken driving over the New Year holiday.

On Tuesday alone, NCPO seized 132 vehicles and 562 driving licences and took legal action against 3,924 drunk drivers.

“Unfortunately the number of fatalities has increased despite a campaign from the government and law enforcement to increase safety,” government spokesman Weerachon Sukondhapatipak told Reuters.

“Road safety is something we will have to continue working on continuously and not just during the new year period.”

On Monday, 25 people died when a van collided with a pick-up truck in Chon Buri province south of Bangkok – the highest death toll in a single incident over the holiday period.

Excessive speed is the top cause of road death, according to the Metropolitan Police Bureau.

Road and boat accidents involving tourists are common in Thailand, where safety standards are sometimes well below international norms.

Thailand’s road death rate is the highest in the world apart from war-ravaged Libya, according to a 2015 World Health Organization report.

Soure: Reuters | The Nation

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