Thirty-nine killed, 461 injured on first of Songkran's '7 deadly days'

Thirty-nine killed, 461 injured on first of Songkran's '7 deadly days'

A woman was killed and 9 others, including the driver, were hurt when a pickup truck hit a roadside tree in Nakae district of Nakhon Phanom on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)
A woman was killed and 9 others, including the driver, were hurt when a pickup truck hit a roadside tree in Nakae district of Nakhon Phanom on Wednesday. (Photo by Pattanapong Sripiachai)

Thirty-nine people were killed and 461 injured in 447 road accidents across the country on Wednesday, the first of the "7 deadly days" of the Songkran festival.

Drink-driving was the cause of 40.49% of the crashes, followed by speeding at 26.62%, Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsuwat said on Thursday, citing a report by the road safety centre of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. 

Most of the accidents - 81.96% - involved motorcycles, and 61.30% occurred on main roads. The peak time for crashes was between 4pm and 8pm, said Mr Weerasak.

Chiang Rai had the highest number of road accidents - 18 - and the highest number of injuries, also at 18. Amnat Charoen, Loei, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Phanom, Buri Ram, Chon Buri and Phetchabun shared the highest death toll, with two in each province.

Authorities have set up 2,031 road checkpoints manned by a total of 65,413 police, soldiers, officials and volunteers. A total of 678,566 vehicles were stopped for inspection, with 128,260 people facing action for traffic violations, including 35,582 motorcyclists without crash helmets.

More than 3,000 people were arrested for drink-drinking and 146 vehicles impounded on Wednesday, the first-day of the anti-drink driving measures during the Songkran festival.

National Council for Peace and Order and army spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said on Thursday that a total of 3,339 people were found to have violated the anti-drink driving measures and 146 vehicles were impounded on the first day of the nationwide operation that kicked off on Wednesday.The offenders included motorcyclists and drivers of public vehicles and private vehicles, said Col Sirichan.

Authorities impounded 105 motorcycles and seized the licenses of 356 riders, she said, and 1,457 motorcycle riders face legal action.

A total of 41 vehicles, both public and private, were impounded. 82 drivers had their driving licences seized and 1,259 people were facing legal action, she said.


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