BANGKOK As Songkran festival vacationers are returning from the provinces to work on Sunday, Thailand’s Road Safety Centre has reported that the death toll from road accidents during the first five days of the Songkran holidays sits at 2,985 traffic accidents, 283 killed and 3,087 injured.
According to the Bangkok Post the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation reported the death toll from road accidents during the first five days of the Songkran holidays fell by 17.5% compared to the same period last year on Saturday but the numbers of accidents and injuries continued to increase.
Over the five days, Chiang Mai province, a popular destination for Songkran travellers, posted the highest numbers of accidents (140) and injuries (145). The highest death toll of 17 was reported in Nakhon Ratchasima province, the gateway to the Northeast.
On April 15 alone, there were 600 traffic accidents which killed 53 people and injured 634.
Drunk drivers remained as the most common cause of the accidents, responsible for 45%, followed by speeding at (25%).
From April 12-15, the National Council for Peace and Order seized 3,969 motorcycles and 1,243 other vehicles from drink drivers in a bid to curb traffic accidents during the Songkran festival.
Songkran travellers started trips from the provinces to Bangkok Saturday night and officials set up highway rest areas to ensure motorists were ready to drive safely, Highways police commissioner Somchai Kaosamran said on Sunday.
Highway Police Division Chief Pol Maj Gen Somchai Kaosamran is encouraging motorists to take rests if they feel tired when driving long distances, as fatigue is one of the main factors of road accident.
Tired drivers are urged to take rests at service centers provided by the Highway Police along major roads where restrooms, hot drinks, and sleeping rooms are available.
The Highway Police chief has added the Bangkok-bound traffic volume has started to increase from midday yesterday with some slowdown expected on the northeastern highways. Meanwhile, 30-40 percent of motorists have already arrived back in Bangkok.
The traveling public are encouraged to report any traffic incidents to the highway police hotline 1193, the highway department hotline 1586, or send the accident’s location to the highway police chat group through the LINE application.