BANGKOK – On the first day of New Years holiday in Thailand also known as the “Seven Dangerous Days” 42 people were killed and 423 injured, according to the Road Safety Directing Centre.
A total of 420 road accidents were reported on Dec 27, with 42 deaths and 432 injuries, with drunk driving being the major cause of the accidents.
The death rate is up by 1 from 2017 where on the first day a total of 477 cases of traffic accidents were reported with 41 people killed and over 500 injured.
The centre reported that drunk driving was the biggest single cause, accounting for 37.6% of all accidents, followed by speeding at 21.2%. Four out of every five accidents involved motorcycles.
Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi recorded the highest number of accidents with 19 each, while Khon Kaen and Lop Buri had the highest number of fatalities at four each. Chiang Mai also had the highest number of injuries with 20.
The most common time for accidents was between 4pm and 8pm. By age group, people over 50 accounted for a leading 31.2% of injuries and deaths.
A total of 114,177 traffic offenders were arrested at 2,042 road checkpoints, with 637,544 vehicles checked. A total of 34,165 motorcyclists failed to wear crash helmets, 30,923 drivers had no licences and 14,411 were not wearing safety belts.
Meanwhile, 313 drunk-driving cases were sent to court and nine of the offenders were ordered to wear electronic tags on Thursday, the first day of the New Year holiday.
The courts ordered nine drink-driving offenders to wear electronic monitoring devices. They were ordered not to leave their homes between 10pm and 4am for 15 days, report to probation officials and do community service for 24 hours. Their driving licences were suspended for six months.
Bangkok had the most drink-driving cases with 60, followed by Maha Sarakham (40) and Ubon Ratchathani (33).
People who witness accidents or drunk drivers are urged to call the hotline numbers 1784 or 1669, said Chaiyaphol Thitisak, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.