(CTN News) – Boontham Lertsukheekasem, director general of Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, reported that 114 people were killed and 1,064 were injured in traffic accidents across the country over the Songkran vacation.
A survey released today found that 1,055 road accidents occurred between Tuesday and Thursday, resulting in these deaths.
Chiang Mai and Bangkok Record Highest Number of Songkran Holiday Road Accident Deaths
There were 38 recorded accidents in the northern province of Chiang Mai. With nine lives lost, Bangkok was the city hardest hit. According to Boontham, 40 people were hurt in Chiang Mai and 40 in Nakhon Si Thammarat, a province in the south.
There were 437 road incidents yesterday, resulting in 49 fatalities and 448 injuries.
Three-quarters (37%) of all road accidents were caused by drivers going too fast for the conditions. Following closely after, with 29% of the accidents, was drunk driving. Boontham pointed out that motorbikes were involved an astonishing 79 percent of these collisions.
During the Songkran Festival, commonly known as the Thai New Year, millions of Thais hit the road to pay their respects to friends and relatives living far away. Sadly, data show that this typically leads to increased traffic accidents.
The Thai government has increased law enforcement presence, implemented additional checkpoints, and ramped up advertising against drunk driving to minimize the incidence of road accidents. Nevertheless, despite these initiatives, such incidences continue to be a serious issue over the winter holidays.
While the situation on Thailand’s roads has improved somewhat in recent years, much more must be done to lessen the number of tragic casualties.
Campaigns to educate the public, stricter law enforcement, and greater cooperation between the government and the public to create a safer road environment are essential to solving this serious problem.
As we remember the victims and their loved ones, we are reminded of the gravity of our actions on the road and the consequences of our decisions during the Songkran vacation.
Drivers must take fundamental actions to prevent future tragedies like these, including adhering to posted speed limits, not driving under the influence, and taking all required measures while on the road.