Day 2: New Year death toll jumps to 113

Day 2: New Year death toll jumps to 113

Two people are killed and three others injured in a pickup truck-car crash in Trat on Saturday morning. (Photo by Jakkrit Waewkraihong)
Two people are killed and three others injured in a pickup truck-car crash in Trat on Saturday morning. (Photo by Jakkrit Waewkraihong)

Road accidents across the country during the New Year holiday claimed 113 lives and injured more than a thousand people in the first two days of the road safety campaign.

On Friday alone, the second day of the so-called “seven dangerous days" of the New Year holidays, 71 people were killed, up six from the second road safety campaign day of last year, and 734 injured, up 110, in 680 road accidents nationwide, up 90, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said on Saturday.

This brought the accumulated road accidents during the first two days of the government’s road safety campaign during the New Year holidays to 1,204, with 113 deaths and 1,299 injuries, said Mrs Kobkarn.

Statistics from the Road Safety Directing Center showed there were 1,029 road accidents, 104 deaths and 1,080 injured during the same period of the campaign last year.

Udon Thani in the Northeast reported the most accidents of 35 on Friday, followed by 30 each in Chiang Mai in the North and Buri Ram in the Northeast, said Ms Kobkarn. 

Udon Thani also had the highest death toll of seven.  Ayutthaya in the Central Plains and northeastern Roi Et province, came second of the death toll of five each.

Chanthaburi in the East saw the most injuries of 43 on Friday, followed by Udon Thani (36) and Chiang Mai (31), said the minister. (continued below)

Drink driving was the biggest cause of road accidents. Most accidents involved motorcycles.

Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paojinda said the road safety campaign during the seven dangerous days period would focus on drink driving and speeding, the major causes of road accidents in Thailand.

Police and officials manning road checkpoints would check motorists’ alcohol levels and monitor for speeding during the seven-day period, starting from Dec 29 to Jan 4, said Gen Anupong during the launch of the road safety campaign on Thursday.

The Interior Ministry holds the Dangerous Days campaigns to promote road safety during the long holidays every year -- seven days for the New Year and five days for Songkran. The calendar dates may slightly vary each year but the data are compared with the same campaign day of the previous year. 

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