BANGKOK – The Ministry of Transport has formed a committee tasked with overseeing public safety during the Thai New Year’s festival, known as Songkran or the water festival.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said today that road safety measures will be beefed up for Songkran festivities this year, given the fact that road accidents and fatalities during the water festival are higher than at any other occasion.
A committee has already been set up to facilitate people’s travels during the festival and ensure road safety, he said. The committee is also responsible for studying the causes of road accidents and fatalities, and for drawing up a plan to prevent them.
Arkhom said he had instructed responsible agencies to make sure there are enough lights along the streets, ask construction companies to move barriers, equipment, and construction materials off the road, and put up visible traffic signs.
The ministry is also planning to raise public awareness of dangerous roads and educate drivers about ways to prevent accidents.
Last year over the six days of the Thai New Year holiday, 390 people died in road accidents and another 3,808 were injured during the 7 dangerous day of the Songkran Festival.
Of the cause of the accidents, which were tallied from April 11-16, drunk driving was the most common cause at 37.72 percent, while speeding was the next most common cause at 31.02 percent.
Motorcycle drivers were held accountable for a shocking 81.58 percent of the accidents while pickup trucks were responsible for 8.37 percent.