CHIANG RAI – The final tally of road carnage from the Seven Dangerous Days from Dec 27 to Jan 2, 2019 was 3,791 traffic accidents, 463 deaths and 3,892 people injured.
Deputy Interior Minister Sutee Markboon announced the figures saying the highest number of accidents, 118, was in Nakhon Si Thammarat province. The biggest death toll, 25, was reported in Nakhon Ratchasima province and the highest number of injured people, 137, was recorded in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
The most common cause of the accidents was drunk driving, resulting in 40.39% of the accidents, while speeding caused 28.30% of them. Motorcycles were involved in 76.94% of the accidents.
“The number of traffic accidents fell 2% from last year and the number of injured people dropped 3%. But the death toll was higher. The Road Safety Centre will find solutions. Measures can be intensified,” Mr Sutee said.
Meanwhile, Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Order, said that during the New Year travel week, officials at checkpoints impounded 5,164 vehicles, including 3,859 motorcycles, from drunk drivers. Besides, 245,954 traffic law violators were prosecuted including 143,853 motorcyclists, she said.
Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Thailand’s road collision-related death rate was 32.7 people out of every 100,000, the highest in south-east Asia. The organisation has blamed Thai authorities for not implementing road safety rules effectively, leading to many drivers taking to the roads when drunk or without holding driving licences.
After last year’s record death toll was reported, Liviu Vedrasco of the WHO said that although the Seven Dangerous Days received much attention, poor road safety was a year-round problem in Thailand. “Roads in Thailand are dangerous every day, not only seven,” he said.
According to the WHO, Libya is the only country with a higher road collision death rate. In 2015 the organisation reported a figure of 73.4 deaths out of every 100,000 people in the African country.