Ministry sets target of 463 for New Year road toll
The Transport Ministry is looking to cut the number of road accidents and deaths during the New Year holidays this year by 5%.
Transport Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith claimed Wednesday authorities will implement strict measures to curb road accidents during the long holidays.
Motorists would be restricted from driving at more than 90 kph on roads with high accident rates. All drivers are requested to drive with their headlights on during daytime, he said.
Last year's reports showed 3,919 accidents occurred between Dec 29, 2016 and Jan 4, 2017, claiming 487 lives. A 5% cut would mean 463 deaths in the next week, beginning Thursday.
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Mr Arkhom said the ministry has also set a zero death toll target on public transport during the period. He said that during the New Year holidays, about 8.4 million vehicles will pass in and out of Bangkok, about 1.5% higher than last year.
Police will step up measures to prevent accidents and drink driving. All drivers involved in any road accident will be tested for alcohol.
Meanwhile, the New Year holiday began yesterday in some provinces with holidaymakers crowding train and bus stations.
In Songkhla, the Hat Yai railway junction in Hat Yai district was yesterday packed with tourists arriving and locals leaving to celebrate the New Year elsewhere.
According to railway officials, long-haul train services were popular with first-class and second-class services for Bangkok-bound trains booked solid until Jan 5 next year.
The train station was crowded with passengers all day yesterday and extra carriages were added for third-class services to accommodate as many travellers as possible.
In Tak, the number of people travelling to and from Laos increased yesterday by 15%-20%, according to immigration authorities at Mae Sot border checkpoint.
In Phichit, rail officials said first and second class train services on all Chiang Mai-bound trains via the province were fully booked until Jan 2. Bangkok-bound trains are fully booked until Jan 3.
Bangkok police expect the exodus to begin tomorrow and warned travellers to leave today if possible to avoid traffic jams.