BANGKOK – Thailand’s Road Safety Directing Centre has reported that on day 2 of the “Seven Dangerous Days” of New Years there has been 98 deaths and 1,024 injured from 990 road accidents across the country.
In his capacity as head of the Centre for the Prevention and Reduction of Road Accidents during New Year’s Festival, Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisit said 56 prople were killed and 592 others injured from 570 accidents on Friday, with drunk driving accounting for 38.95 percent of all the road accidents, followed by 28.6 percent of speeding.
Motorcycles accounted for 76.68 percent of the vehicles involved in the accidents, with pickup trucks coming second with 7.72 percent. 66.67 percent of the accidents took place on the main roads of the Highways Department, with 42.11 percent and 33.86 percent of accidents occurring on secondary roads in tambon and in villages respectively. 28.77 of the accidents occurred between 4 pm and 8 pm.
More than 66,000 officials and volunteers were mobilized to man 2,049 road blocks nationwide. For the past two days, the stopped 749,821 vehicles for checks and legal actions were taken against 145,536 people, mostly on charges of not wearing crash helmets , 42,841 cases, and driving without licenses, 38,912 cases.
Chiang Mai had the highest two-day accident total at 33. The northern province was also among the provinces with the most deaths and injuries.
Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai and Lop Buri had five fatalities each, while Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima had the highest number of injuries with 33 each.
Last year a total of 3,841 accidents, with 423 deaths and 4,005 injuries. The accident total was down 1.5% from the year before and deaths declined by 11.5%, authorities said at the time.
Authorities temporarily seized 752 vehicles from intoxicated drivers on the first two days of the “Seven Dangerous Days” of the New Year holidays.
Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokeswoman of the National Council for Peace and Order, told a press conference on Saturday that on Friday, the second day of the stepped-up enforcement, 451 motorcycles and 213 other vehicles were seized by the authorities from drivers considered to be too intoxicated to drive safely.
From Thursday to Friday, 514 motorcycles and 238 other vehicles were seized and the two days period saw 25,826 drunk drivers arrested, she added. On Friday alone, 21,383 drunk drivers were arrested, she said.
Meanwhile, with rain storm and isolated heavy rain predicted today until January 2, Minister Arkhom warned motorists and motorcyclists to exercise more caution, to refrain from speeding and to keep a safe distance from the cars running in front and to report about accidents to hotlines 1784 or 1669.