CHIANG RAI – Police have vowed to toughen liquor ban during the upcoming Songkran Festival in a bid to keep revelers in order.
National Police Spokesperson Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said sobriety checkpoints will be set up along popular water-splashing routes and accident-prone areas in order to impose a strict ban on all alcoholic drinks.
Police have also decided to zone off alcohol-free areas in Bangkok and major provinces for this year’s Songkran celebration. The zoning areas in Bangkok will include Khao San Road, Silom Road and Rama 9 Road.
Harsh measures will also be enforced by authorities in hopes of preventing sexual offences against women and street brawls from breaking out.
Pol Maj Gen Piya elaborated that during the festive period, over 7,000 households nationwide are set to participate in the community police crime watch project, with the majority of participants living in Bangkok.
Songkran is one of the most dangerous times to be on the roads in Thailand. During this holiday and the one over the new year, the Disaster Prevention Department releases daily statistics. This year, there are 7 Dangerous Days of Songkran from 11th-17th April 2012.
11-17 April 2012: Most accidents were caused by drunk driving (38.76%) followed by speeding (20.53%). The vehicles involved in accidents were motorcycles (81.12%), pick-up trucks (10.03%), car/taxi (3.55%), truck (0.55%), bus (0.30%) and van (.027%). Accidents happened the most on roads through villages (35.18%) and on highways (33.00%). The majority of accident happened on straight roads (57.73%). Most accidents happened between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. (31.73%) followed by 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (25.75%). Of those who were injured or were killed, most were over 50 years of age (18.15%), followed by 30-39 years of age (17.13%) and 15-19 years of age (17.08%). A total of 11.00% were less than 15 years old.
The safest places in Thailand were Trat and Yasothon with only one accident each in 7 days. This is followed by Chachoengsao (2), Nong Khai (3) and Chaiyaphum (3). Six provinces had no deaths during the last 7 days. These were Trang, Trat, Nakhon Phanom, Pattani, Ranong and Satun.
The most dangerous province was Chiang Rai with 125 accidents, followed by Nakhon Sawan (118) and Nakhon Si Thammarat (108). The province with the most deaths was Surat Thani with 13 deaths. This was followed by Nakhon Si Thammarat & Saraburi (11 each) and Nakhon Sawan & Pichit (10 each).
2007: 361 deaths, 4,805 injuries and 4,274 accidents
2008: 368 deaths, 4,801 injuries and 4,243 accidents
2009: 373 deaths, 4,332 injuries and 3,977 accidents
2010: 361 deaths, 3,802 injuries and 3,516 accidents
2011: 271 deaths, 3,476 injuries and 3,215 accidents
2012: 320 deaths, 3,320 injuries and 3,129 accidents