BANGKOK – Thailand’s Road Safety Centre said today traffic accidents during the past four days of the Songkran festival have now claimed 226 lives and 2,457 injuries.
Only yesterday, the fourth day of the campaign to reduce traffic accidents, and road fatalities during the “7-Dangerous Days” campaign, 57 were killed and 664 others injured in a total of 642 traffic accidents happened across the country.
Drunk driving is a major cause of yesterday fatality rates or 44.08%, followed by speeding, 27.41%.
In total, the centre said 226 people have died and 2,457 others were injured during the past four days of the campaign to reduce traffic accidents.
Udon Thani had the highest accumulated traffic accidents of 32 cases while Nakhon Ratchasima topped the highest accumulated deaths of 13 people.
Chiang Mai had the highest accumulated injuries of 119.
Motorcycles remained the vehicle that engaged in most road accidents, followed by pickup trucks and cars.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is considering revealing more details of traffic accident casualties during Songkran to hammer home the importance of safe driving over the holiday, when the death toll jumps significantly each year, according to the government.
A more powerful message is needed as simply listing the number of deaths and injuries does not seem to be having enough impact, government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkammnerd quoted Gen Prayut as saying on Friday.
The premier wants complete details published showing the cause of accidents, as well as how many people were hurt or killed because they ignored the laws requiring them to wear helmets or use seat belts, he said.
Even though the number of accidents and injuries on the road has dipped slightly year-on-year, the death toll since Tuesday has risen compared to previous years despite the government launching a robust campaign against drink driving and imposing stricter traffic laws using Section 44 under the previous interim charter.
Lt Gen Sansern said the government will work harder to curb the number of road accidents as the situation has barely changed over the past decade.
Thailand ranks world No.2 in terms of frequency of road accidents per capita, he said, a situation considered unacceptable by many in this fast-developing nation.
During the first three days of the state’s latest road safety campaign, the death toll on the roads has risen from last year, with motorcycle accidents topping the bill, according to permanent secretary for interior affairs Kritsada Bunrat.