CHIANG RAI – Forty-five people have been killed and 494 injured in 451 accidents on Sunday, the fourth of the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department reported Monday.
This year’s Songkran Day which commenced on 13 April saw 655 accidents or a 10 per cent reduction but 72 were killed or 28 per cent increase from last year.
In the first four days of the holiday period there were 1,897 road accidents which caused 218 deaths and 2,020 injuries.
The highest death tolls were recorded in Prachuap Khiri Khan and Kanchanaburi provinces at 11 each, while Nakhon Si Thammarat had the most accidents at 71 and injuries at 73. On Sunday alone, there were 451 accidents, 45 deaths and 494 injuries across the nation.
Police stopped 716,161 vehicles at checkpoints across the country and arrested 120,856 for traffic violations. Most of the arrests, at 37,073, were for failing to wear a helmet, while 34,593 were nabbed for not having a valid license.
In a bid to control drink-related problems, relevant agencies punished 142 law violators after inspecting 272 vendors in different provinces, Pornthep Siriwana-rangsan, director general of the Disease Control Department, said today.
Pornthep added that drunk teenagers attacked officials cracking down on an illegal alcohol vendor in Chiang Mai and that the municipality’s mayor was pushing for legal action to be taken against the attackers.
The fatalities are up by eight on the same period last year.
Earlier on Sunday, Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan instructed 76 provincial governors and concerned officials to adopt strict law enforcement after statistic showed that this year’s death toll exceeded that of last year, despite fewer road accidents.
Nakhon Si Thammarat province had the highest number of accidents at 71.
Prachuap Khiri Khan and Kanchanaburi had the highest death tolls, with 11 each.
The main causes of accidents were drunk driving and speeding. Motorcycles and pickup trucks were involved in the largest number of accidents.
The department on Sunday reported the road death toll at 173 for the first three days.