BANGKOK – Thailand’s New Year holiday death toll has reached 199 as the country entered the fourth day of the so-called “seven dangerous days” of the New Year holidays.
On Saturday alone, 86 were killed, up 15 from Friday, 800 were injured, up 66, in 757 road accidents across the country, up 77, Chaipreuk Sereeerak, permanent secretary for the Education Ministry, said on Sunday.
This brought the accumulated road accidents over the past three days from Dec 29, the first day of the campaign, to 1,961, with 199 deaths and 2,099 injuries.
Statistics from the Road Safety Directing Center showed there were 1,691 road accidents, 178 deaths and 1,755 injuries during the same period of the campaign last year.
Chiang Mai in the North recorded the most road accidents of 33 on Saturday, said Mr Chaipreuk.
Udon Thani in the Northeast and Surat Thani in the South had the highest death toll of five each.
Drink driving was the major cause of road accident, accounting for 48.86%, followed by speeding (33.3%).
Most accidents, or 80.8%, involved motorcycles, said the permanent secretary for education.
Road accidents often occurred on main roads (63%), local roads (42.1%) and highways (32.2%). The time of the day most prone to accidents day was between 4pm and 8pm.
Most injured and dead victims were in the working age, at 55.1%, said Mr Chaipreuk. (continued below)
Authorities manning 2,030 road checkpoints across the country took for questioning 110,917 motorists for possible traffic violations during the three days. Of them, 30,646 had no driving licences and 29,894 rode motorcycles without crash helmets.
The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) also said on Sunday authorities had charged more than 17,000 drivers for breaking traffic laws and seized around 1,000 vehicles over the first three days of the road safety campaign.
Of the total 17,614 wrongdoers, 66% or 11,764 rode motorcycles. The remaining 5,850 drove public transport vehicles and passenger cars, deputy NCPO spokeswoman Col Sirichan Ngathong said.
Officials also confiscated 1,011 vehicles of drink drivers during the period, 810 of which were motorcycles, she added.