BANGKOK – Thailand’s Director-General of the Department of Probation Ms.Kannikar Saengthong has revealed the accidents recorded during the first two days of the accident prevention campaign during New Year’s holidays.
According to there findings, accidents occurring in 30-31 December 2014 was at 1,133 accidents, causing 1,158 injuries and 128 fatalities, with driving under the influence of alcohol as the top cause of accidents, at 41.92%, while most accidents were related to motorcycles, with a record of 83.80%.
Ms. Saengthong said that the province where most accidents were recorded was Chiang Mai, with as many as 49 accidents. The provinces with the most fatalities were Phetchabun, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai, and Buriram, with 7 fatalities in each province.
Regarding the issue of driving under the influence of alcohol, the DOP Director-General said that theRoad Safety Directing Center is now working on stricter implementation with relevant laws, and the control alcohol sales to youth groups is crucial to reducing the risk factor of road accidents.
The Traffic Control and Command Center in Chiang Rai reminded drivers on Wednesday of the new traffic law amendment coming into effect on New Year’s Eve, which stipulates that drivers who refuse to have their breath analyzed for blood alcohol level will automatically be considered drunk drivers.
Drivers in Chiang Rai Province may also be asked to do a field sobriety test, walking a straight line, to see if they can maintain their posture. Under the law, the police are to assume that any driver who refuses to take the test is under the influence and may be arrested for drunk driving.
Drivers who refuse to take the test and consequently charged with drunk driving may provide witness testimonies against the charge in court.
The maximum penalty for driving under the influence is one year in prison and 20,000 baht in fines, or both.