BANGKOK – Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Interior Suthee Marboon has disclosed accident numbers during 2017 New Year holidays that the most common cause of accident is drunk driving and overspeeding.
More than 59,000 people were arrested for drink-driving and driving while unfit and more than 4,200 vehicles were seized.
A total of 478 people were killed and 4,128 injured in road accidents during the “seven dangerous days” from Dec 29 to Jan 4, making the 2017 New Year death toll the highest in 10 years.
Most of the accidents (36.6%) were caused by drink driving, followed by speeding (31.31%). Most, or 81.82%, involved motorcycles, and 8% pick-up trucks. The majority of the accidents, 61.78%, happened on main highways, followed by 36.92% on rural roads.
Motorcycle drivers are the group with the highest casualty rate this year, at 69.15 percent of all accidents.
Mr Suthee said during the seven days, 4.4 million vehicles were checked by the authorities and 727,438 people were charged with traffic-related offences.
He has said all provinces are commanded to uphold to the road safety principles by raising the awareness among road users, improve facilities, and improve laws related to road safety, with all measures set to be in effect in time for the upcoming Songkran holidays in April.
Provinces are asked to revise the New Year safety protocols and tackle obstacles in the safety promotion campaign at the local levels.
In this matter, the Ministry of Interior Deputy Permanent Secretary Chayapol Titisak has said the Ministry of Interior is promotion provincial and local levels utilization of the mechanism from the Road Safety Center under the “Pracharat” cooperation scheme to reduce road accidents in long-term by encouraging social measures among communities, and communications to target audiences using all types of media in order to create the foundation of safety awareness in the Thai society.
The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Director-General Chatchai Promlert has said the department is working with provinces to gather accident data for further analysis with the aim to determine the factors that cause them. The analysis will be used to further enhance safety measures accordingly with the social characteristics of each area.
He has asked all sides to help make roads in Thailand safe 365 days a year, for the happiness and safety of the society.
By Geoff Thoams, Tanakorn Sangiam