CHIANG RAI – Despite a ramped up campaign in Thailand by the Road Safety Center, the Royal Thai Police and the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) the road death toll during the “7 dangerous days” of the 2018 Songkran Holiday was higher than last year.
This year road deaths totaled 418 compared to last year’s 390, the Road Safety Centre said yesterday.
This year also saw a higher number of injured people with 3,897 cases in 3,724 road accidents. Last year, 3,808 people were injured in 3,690 road crashes.
Most of the road carnage this Songkran stemmed from drunk-driving (40 per cent) and speeding (26 per cent) and 80 per cent of accidents involved motorcycles and 65 per cent took place on straight roads, Deputy Interior Minister Suthee Makboon told the media.
Nakhon Ratchasima is the province with highest death toll of 20 persons, followed by Phetchabun (13), Chon Buri and Sakon Nakhon (12 each).
Chiang Mai came with the highest road accidents of 133 cases, followed by Nakhon Si Thammarat (120) and Phitsanulok (106) and Chiang Rai had the most impaired driving arrests.
Meanwhile, the number of vehicles seized from drunk drivers during this Songkran–16,288 – was a 100 per cent increase over the previous Songkran, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and Army deputy spokeswoman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong told a separate press conference yesterday.
The NCPO and related authorities, from April 11-17, had identified 490,512 cases of drunk driving (280,631 motorcyclists and 208,881 motorists), down 38 per cent from the previous year.
As many violators were slapped with fines and their driving licences confiscated, the officers also impounded 16,288 vehicles (11,768 motorcycles and 4,520 cars/trucks) from such drunk drivers. During the previous Songkran, 8,128 vehicles were impounded.