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Songkran’s Seven Deadly Days Begins, 33 Dead, 420 Injured



BANGKOK – Thailand’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department has reported that 33 people were killed and 420 injured in traffic accidents on April 11, the first of the seven-day campaign to reduce the road carnage during the April 11-17 Songkran holiday.

Speaking at the centre for the prevention and reduction of road accidents of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, Lt Gen Thanes Kalpruek said there were 409 road accidents reported nationwide on Tuesday.

These resulted in 33 people being killed and 420 injured.

On the first day of the campaign last year, also April 11, there were 387 accidents, 52 deaths and 431 injuries, according to official figures.

Drink-driving was responsible for the greatest number this year, 45.48%, followed by exceeding the speed limit, 24.94%.

As usual, most of the accidents, 77.80%, involved motorcycles.

He said 65.28% of the accidents occurred on straight roads, 36.67% on highways and 32.03% on rural roads, and 29.34% occurred from 4.01pm – 8pm.

About 46% of those killed and injured were of working age.

Chiang Mai recorded the highest number of accidents, at 18. The provinces with highest death tolls, four each, were Ubon Ratchathani and Nakhon Ratchasima.

The biggest number of injuries, 17, occurred in Chiang Rai, Province.

The government has set up 2,025 main checkpoints, manned by 63,299 officials, along major highways. On April 11, 603,474 vehicles were checked. A total of 93,564 were slapped with various traffic-related charges, including 27,081 for driving without a licence and 26,465 for not wearing crash helmets, Lt Gen Thanes said.

By Sunthorn Pongpao


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