Dubbed the “Seven Deadly Days”, the days before, during and after the Songkran holiday, Thailand sees accident rates soar, with drunk driving accounting for many crashes.
The Seven Deadly Days began on Wednesday this year and will end on Tuesday.
The holiday is often referred to as the world’s biggest water fight, with revelers throwing water at passing cars and motorbikes that sometimes swerve to avoid getting doused.
Thailand’s roads rank among the world’s deadliest, according to the World Health Organization, and there has been little improvement despite safety campaigns over the years.
On Tuesday, six migrant workers from Myanmar were killed when their double-decker bus crashed into a ditch near the border town of Mae Sot, the second fatal accident in as many weeks involving migrants.
Thailand’s transport ministry said it aimed to reduce the number of road accidents by 7 percent during this Songkran festival.
Emergency responders doubt the latest safety campaign will have much impact.
“These campaigns are quite isolated and mostly for show only,” said Marko Cunningham from the Bangkok Free Ambulance Service, a volunteer ambulance organization.
“Thai people know the laws and yet continue to break them,” he said. “I have always said the main problem lies with enforcement.”
In Chiang Rai police started a Province wide campaign to reduce the number of fatalities during the 7 day holiday.
Chiang Rai Police and have set up road checks on all major roadways, while local administrations and village Heads have set up road safety checks at the entrances to villages in hopes to stop drunk drivers before they hit the main roads.
Lets hope this Songkran we see fewer road deaths and accidents caused by Drunk Drivers…
Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre