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Thai New Year Celebrants Warned to be Well Prepared Before Driving

The main cause of the accidents is drink driving, said Stop Drink Network director Songkran Pakchokdee

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BANGKOK – Thailand’s Ministry of Transport is gearing up for the heavy holiday traffic during the New Year, setting a goal to reduce the number of road accidents by 5 percent.

Road checkpoints Nation wide have also been set up to coordinate with the Road Safety Directing Center.

The ministry will make sure that all operators of public vehicles are well-rested beforehand and have a blood alcohol level of zero milligram percent.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) has advised that New Year celebrants ensure the readiness of themselves and their vehicles before hitting the road.

As the risk of road accidents usually peaks during the New Year season, DDPM Director-General Chatchai Promlert stressed that it is crucial for drivers to prepare themselves physically before getting behind the wheel.

He recommended taking enough sleep the night before, steering clear of alcoholic beverages and antidepressant drugs, having a companion when traveling a far distance and taking a break every two hours to prevent falling asleep.

As the risk of road accidents usually peaks during the New Year season, DDPM Director-General Chatchai Promlert stressed that it is crucial for drivers to prepare themselves physically before getting behind the wheel.

Meanwhile, Anti-alcohol campaigners, led by the Stop Drink Network want police to enforce laws against drink driving which, they say, is the main cause of road accidents during the New Year.

Accidents worry the Stop Drink Network and its anti-alcohol allies which say the number of casualties have not fallen though authorities have tried to strictly curb them during what they call “dangerous days” when large numbers of people travel between Bangkok and upcountry provinces.

The main cause of the accidents is drink driving, said Stop Drink Network director Songkran Pakchokdee, asking police officers to strictly enforce laws that ban roadside alcohol selling and drink driving.

The statistics of road accidents during New Year holidays in the past two years are disappointing, he said. In 2015, road accidents claimed 341 lives and injured 3,117 people.

In 2016 there were 380 deaths and 3,505 injuries.

By Geoff Thomas

Source: Bangkok Post | NNT

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