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Over 900 Vehicles Seized from Drunk Drivers in the First 2 Days of Songkran

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BANGKOK  – In an attempt to enforce law on ‘No Drunk Driving campaign during the annual Songkran Festival or Thailand’s  traditional New Year, police nationwide have seized 991 vehicles during the past two days, said Col Sirichan Ngathong, a deputy spokeswoman of National Council for Peace and Order.

Authorities seized 712 motorcycles and 279 cars on Thursday and Friday. They   seized 5,229 driving licenses and took legal actions against 31,392 alleged offenders during the period, said the deputy spokeswoman.

People are still heading upcountry to visit their relatives and friends during the Songkran Festival, which runs through next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Songkran death toll from road accidents since Thursday has jumped to 105, with more than 1,000 others injured, according to the Centre for the Prevention and Reduction of Road Accidents.

The centre reported that 57 people were killed and 521 others injured in the 501 road accidents on Friday and blamed drunk driving as the cause of 35.13% of the incidents, followed by speeding which accounted for 29.94%.

For the second day, motorcycles were involved in over 78% percent of the accidents.

Most fatalities on Friday were reported in the central province of Lop Buri, where seven people were killed, including six in a passenger van which was rammed by a train as it was passing through a non-barrier railway crossing.

The southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat topped the chart with the highest number of road accidents in two days – 43 altogether.

Meanwhile, Tourism and Sports vice Minister, Worawit Techasupakoon, estimated that about three million tourists are expected to visit Thailand during the Songkran festival.

In Bangkok today, Thais and foreign tourists alike flocked in droves to Silom and Khao San roads, two popular spots for Songkran celebrations, although no live concerts or stage shows have been allowed this year by city officials.

Shop-keepers in the two areas said that they expected the crowd to grow even bigger in the evening as temperatures fall.